Feb. 24, 2009
NU Game Notes vs. Indiana (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern seeks a season sweep of Indiana Wednesday as it travels to Assembly Hall in Bloomington to face the Hoosiers. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. Central time. Big Ten Network is televising the game live with Wayne Larrivee, Tim Doyle and Mike Hall on the call.
The contest can be heard on 720 AM-WGN and online at wgnradio.com with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand.
The Wildcats are continuing a closing stretch to the season that sees them play four of their last five games on the road. NU is looking to bounce back from a 72-45 loss Sunday at Minnesota. Jeremy Nash and John Shurna led Northwestern with nine points apiece. The 'Cats trailed by three midway through the opening half before the Golden Gophers closed the first stanza on a 20-5 run.
Indiana (6-20, 1-13) has lost five in a row and 16 of its last 17. The Hoosiers are coming off an 81-67 loss at Purdue on Saturday. Verdell Jones III scored a team-high 16 points for Indiana which shot 50.0 percent from the field but allowed the Boilermakers to shoot 57.1 percent. IU's lone conference win was a 68-60 victory over Iowa at Assembly Hall Feb. 4.
Series History: Indiana leads, 107-43.
Last Meeting: Craig Moore scored 21 points and hit two free throws with 6.6 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a 77-75 win over Indiana Jan. 28 in Evanston.
The Hoosiers (6-20, 1-13) have posted five of their six victories this season, including their lone Big Ten win, at Assembly Hall. IU is coming off an 81-67 loss at Purdue on Saturday.
Junior guard Devan Dumes, who scored a game-high 26 points in the first meeting with the Wildcats Jan. 28, leads Indiana with an average of 13.4 points per game. Freshman forward Tom Pritchard is also in double figures at 10.4 points per contest while grabbing a team-best norm of 6.7 rebounds per game.
Tom Crean is in his first season as the Hoosiers' head coach after posting a 190-96 mark in nine seasons at Marquette.
Minnesota Game Notes
Craig Moore extended his streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer to 37--the second-longest current streak in the country--and raised his career total to 297, just two behind Illinois' Dee Brown for fifth place in Big Ten history ... Northwestern forced Minnesota into 17 turnovers in the contest after the Golden Gophers had 19 during the teams' first meeting in Evanston Jan. 18 ... Minnesota guard Al Nolen ranks first in the Big Ten with a 2.51 assist-to-turnover ratio, but in two games against NU this season he has five assists and eight turnovers.
Northwestern has received great contributions from its touted freshman class this season. Forward John Shurna has been the most impressive, starting every game this season, ranking fourth on the team with an average of 7.8 points per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the floor. He scored 17 points vs. Michigan Feb. 15 and tallied 16 in his first Big Ten game at Penn State Dec. 31. However, his biggest moment this season came against Ohio State Feb. 18 when he broke a tie game by hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining. Forward/center Luka Mirkovic has come on strong in the second half of the Big Ten season. After scoring seven and nine points in his previous two Big Ten games, Mirkovic scored a collegiate-best 14 points in the Feb. 12 contest against Illinois. It was the first time he had been inserted in the Wildcats' starting lineup. Coupled with his team season-high 12 rebounds against the Fighting Illini, it gave NU its first double-double of the season. Despite being slowed by a recent illness, Mirkovic is shooting 62.2 percent from the field in conference play. Center Kyle Rowley has shown flashes of why he could be a force in the years to come, starting 22 of 25 games, shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and averaging 4.0 points per game.
Northwestern ranks first in the Big Ten and among the nation's leaders with a .389 3-point field goal percentage. Penn State is second in the conference at .374. Individually, Craig Moore ranks sixth (.422), Michael Thompson is seventh (.413) and Kevin Coble is 11th (.381).
NU plays its final home game this Saturday as they face Iowa at 1 p.m. Seniors Marlon Day, Patrick Houlihan, Craig Moore and Sterling Williams will be honored in pregame ceremonies.