Feb. 28, 2014
WATCH: Coach Collins Interview | D. Crawford Interview
Skip Myslenski's Preview
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern travels to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the first time Saturday as it takes on host Nebraska. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. with ESPNU providing live television coverage.
The Cornhuskers are 13-1 at their new home facility this season with the lone loss coming by a slim 71-70 margin to current Big Ten leader Michigan on Jan. 9.
The Wildcats are coming off a mid-week bye after suffering a close 61-56 home loss to Indiana Feb. 22. Tre Demps led all scorers with 19 points and Alex Olah posted his first collegiate double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. However, Northwestern was unable to overcome 32 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
Last Meeting: Northwestern was unable to hold on to a six-point halftime lead as Nebraska rallied back for a 53-49 victory Feb. 8 in Evanston. Terran Petteway led the visitors with 17 points while JerShon Cobb posted 14 for the Wildcats.
The Cornhuskers had their five-game winning streak snapped in a 60-49 loss at Illinois on Wednesday. Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 13 points.
Petteway leads the Big Ten with an average of 18.2 points per game. Shavon Shields contributes 11.9 points and a team-best 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Tim Miles is in his second season as the head coach at Nebraska where he has a 31-29 record. He has a career record of 314-249 in 19 seasons overall as a head coach.
CRAWFORD CLIMBS NU RECORDBOOK
When Drew Crawford got the starting nod against Iowa Jan. 25 he became Northwestern's career leader in both games played and games started. Crawford's 138 games played to date surpassed the previous record of 130 held by John Shurna (2009-12), while his 137 starts bested the previous mark of 129 held by Michael Thompson (2008-11).
Crawford's Northwestern Career Ranks:
Games Played: 1st--138
Games Started: 1st--137
Minutes Played: 2nd--4,434
Field Goal Attempts: 2nd--1,513
Field Goals: 3rd--663
3-Point Field Goals: 4th--223
3-Point Field Goal Attempts: 5th--632
Blocked Shots: 6th--96
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
Defense keyed Northwestern's stretch during which it won five of seven games from Jan. 12-Feb. 1. Dating back to Jan. 12, the Wildcats have held their foes to a combined 39.1 percent shooting. Indiana shot just 25.0 percent (15-60) in NU's 54-47 win Jan. 18. The mark was the lowest by a Northwestern Big Ten opponent since Michigan shot 22.2 percent in a 58-34 victory by the Wildcats on Feb. 4, 1999. Illinois' 43 points on Jan. 12 were the fewest by an NU conference foe since Minnesota in a 55-40 loss to the 'Cats on Jan. 20, 2007. Michigan State's 54 points on Jan. 15 were a season-low for the Spartans. Wisconsin's .263 field goal percentage Jan. 29 was its fourth-lowest in Bo Ryan's 13 seasons as head coach and its second-lowest in a home game (.222 vs. North Dakota State, 1/21/06). Over the last 30 years, this is the first time that Northwestern has held four Big Ten opponents (Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin) below 30 percent shooting in a game.
CRAWFORD NAMED FIRST-TEAM ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN
Northwestern graduate student Drew Crawford was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team on Thursday. He is the first Wildcat men's basketball player selected to the first team since Shon Morris in 1988. Crawford was previously named to the second team as a junior in 2012. He is the fourth first-team selection for NU in school history, joining Jim Burns (1967), Mike Campbell (1980) and Morris (1987, 1988). Crawford earned his bachelor's degree in economics in June and is currently working towards his master's degree in sports administration.
Northwestern has already racked up a number of impressive Big Ten road wins in some places where it's difficult to succeed. The 'Cats posted a 54-47 victory at Indiana's hallowed Assembly Hall Jan. 18 before notching a 65-56 win at Wisconsin's Kohl Center Jan. 29. The Badgers' home loss was just their 20th in Bo Ryan's 13 seasons at the helm, including only the 13th by a Big Ten team. UW had been 68-4 vs. unranked league foes under Ryan. The 'Cats followed up the win in Madison with a 55-54 victory at Minnesota three days later, NU's first win in Minneapolis since 2007.
Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,840 career points. The total ranks third in school history and is 60 points shy of Billy McKinney (1974-77) for second place. Crawford ranks 17th nationally among all active Division I players. His 30-point performance at Wisconsin Jan. 29 marked a season high and was the highest point total by a Big Ten player at Kohl Center since Shannon Brown of Michigan State scored 31 on Jan. 8, 2006. Crawford ranks 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (15.6 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (6.6 rpg). He is the only Big Ten player to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
Active Division I Players with 1,800+ Points, 600+ Rebounds, 200+ 3-Point Field Goals
Name (Team) - Pts. - Reb. - 3-pt FG
Doug McDermott (Creighton) - 2,917 - 1,031 - 244
Torrey Craig (USC Upstate) - 2,074 - 921 - 290
Drew Crawford (Northwestern) - 1,840 - 685 - 223
Redshirt sophomore guard Tre Demps stepped up when the Wildcats needed him in each of their Big Ten victories. With the game tied and seven minutes remaining against Illinois Jan. 12, Demps nailed three consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-2 run that led the 'Cats to the win. Six days later, NU trailed Indiana by three with seven minutes to go when Demps scored the Wildcats' next 13 points during a 13-4 run that keyed another victory. Against Purdue on Jan. 21, Demps scored 11 of his 19 points in the final 3:11 of regulation or the two overtime sessions, including hitting game-tying 3-pointers with 3:11 to go in the second half and 1:36 to go in the first OT. He tallied seven of his 10 points during a decisive 30-9 second-half run that turned a six-point deficit into a 15-point lead at Wisconsin Jan. 29. Three days later with the game at Minnesota tied 52-52, Demps' 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining were the decisive points in a 55-54 NU victory.
BOOST OFF THE BENCH
Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 11.1 points per game, including scoring in double figures 18 times. Demps posted a career-best 23-point performance against DePaul Dec. 27. The point total was the highest in a game by a Northwestern player off the bench since Cedric Neloms scored 25 vs. Ohio State on Feb. 10, 1993. Demps tallied a game-high 19 points in his first start of the season Feb. 22 vs. Indiana.
Major Conference Scoring Leaders Among Players Who Have Made Five or Fewer Starts This Season
(courtesy STATS Inc.--through games Feb. 26)
Name (Team) - Avg.
Ian Miller (Florida State) - 13.8
Phil Forte (Oklahoma State) - 13.3
Jason Calliste (Oregon) - 12.0
Michael Dixon Jr. (Memphis) - 11.6
Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 11.1
Zach LaVine (UCLA) - 10.6
Northwestern closes out its 2013-14 home season next Thursday, March 6 as it takes on Penn State at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Senior Night ceremonies are slated to begin at 5:40 p.m.
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