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    Wildcats Return to State of Washington for NIT Second Round

    JerShon Cobb is averaging 18.7 points per game over the last three contests.

    JerShon Cobb is averaging 18.7 points per game over the last three contests.

    March 15, 2012

    #4 Northwestern (19-13) at #1 Washington (22-10)
    Friday, March 16, 2012
    American Airlines Arena (10,000)
    Seattle, Wash. • 9 p.m. CT
    ESPNU (Roxy Bernstein and Mark Adams)
    Streaming Video:
    Audio: WIND 560 AM (joined in progress on WGN 720 AM) and (Dave Eanet and Shon Morris)
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
    Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern shoots for it third-consecutive 20-win season and its second-straight berth in the NIT quarterfinal round as it travels to top-seeded Washington on Friday for a second-round contest. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. Central time with ESPNU providing live television coverage.



    The Wildcats knocked off a No. 1 seed on the road to the quarterfinals last season, posting an 85-67 victory at Boston College. This is the second straight year that NU is playing an NIT game in the state of Washington as it was eliminated by Washington State in overtime a year ago.

    Northwestern advanced to the second round by posting a 76-74 home win over Akron on Tuesday. Drew Crawford led the way with 27 points and John Shurna recorded 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while becoming the 27th player in Big Ten history to surpass the 2,000 career-point milestone.

    The winner of Friday's contest advances to take on the winner of another Big Ten/Pac-12 clash between Oregon and Iowa.

    Series History: Washington leads the all-time series 5-2, though the teams haven't met since Dec. 29, 1975 when the Huskies posted a 70-57 win at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore.

    • The Huskies (22-10, 14-4 Pac-12) won their conference regular-season title but failed to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Washington defeated Texas-Arlington 82-72 in Tuesday's NIT opening-round contest.
    • Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Tony Wroten leads UW with an average of 16.4 points per game. Terrence Ross, who joined Wroten on the All-Pac-12 first team, contributes 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest.
    • Lorenzo Romar is in his 10th season as the head coach at Washington where he has a 217-112 record. He is 310-200 in 16 overall seasons as a head coach.

    Northwestern is making its fourth-consecutive postseason appearance, a school record. A year ago, the Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated by Washington State in overtime. This is the seventh NIT appearance for Northwestern, while Washington is in the NIT for the sixth time.
    3/17/83 - vs. Notre Dame (Rosemont, Ill.); W, 71-57
    3/21/83 - at DePaul; L, 65-63
    3/16/94 - DePaul; W, 69-68
    3/21/94 - Xavier; L, 83-79 (OT)
    3/16/99 - at DePaul; L, 69-64
    3/18/09 - at Tulsa; L, 68-59
    3/17/10 - at Rhode Island; L, 76-64
    3/16/11 - Milwaukee; W, 70-61
    3/19/11 - at Boston College; W, 85-67
    3/23/11 - at Washington State; L, 69-66 (OT)
    3/13/12 - Akron; W, 76-74

    Senior forward John Shurna became the 27th player in Big Ten history to score 2,000 career points when he surpassed the milestone March 13 in a victory over Akron, hitting a jumper with 6:25 remaining in the first half. He also moved past Kevin Rankin in the contest as Northwestern's all-time leader in blocked shots. Shurna currently has 135 blocks in his career. Friday's contest will be his 130th game played, moving him past Michael Thompson and alone into first place in school history.

    Friday night's game is being televised by ESPNU. Northwestern is a perfect 7-0 in games broadcast by the channel this season. The Wildcats defeated LSU, Tulsa and Seton Hall in the Charleston Classic, Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge as well as Big Ten foes Penn State (twice) and Iowa.

    For all of the recognition that John Shurna gets for his scoring, he has proven that he's a solid all-around player as well. Shurna currently is tied for first in NU history with 133 career blocked shots, including a career-high five against Minnesota Feb. 18 and again at Penn State Feb. 25. His 54 blocks this season are the second most in a single season in school history and his average of 1.7 blocks per game ranks second in the Big Ten. Shurna is also seventh all-time at Northwestern with 293 career assists and he ranks 12th in the Big Ten with an average of 5.4 rebounds per game and leads the team with 1.2 steals per contest this season.

    Northwestern is well known for playing "team" offense and that's reflected in the statistics. The Wildcats rank third in the nation with a 1.56 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. NU ranked second nationally to only Wisconsin with a 1.70 mark a year ago. NU ranks third in the country with an average of just 10.0 turnovers per contest. Northwestern is assisting on 63.9 percent of its made field goals, the seventh-highest percentage nationally.

    UP NEXT...
    The winner of Friday's contest advances to take on the winner of Sunday's game between third-seeded Oregon and sixth-seeded Iowa.


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