Nov. 12, 2012
The Last Meeting
December 15, 2011
Northwestern Cruises to 81-51 Win Over Texas Southern
Northwestern surged out to an early 23-3 lead and never looked back, defeating Texas Southern 81-51 Thursday evening. John Shurna led the Wildcats with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern opens up its 2012-13 season at 7 p.m. Tuesday as it hosts Texas Southern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Wildcats have won their last four season-openers, including posting a 60-36 victory over Texas-Pan American last season.
NU defeated University of Chicago 70-46 in its lone exhibition game last Wednesday. Senior Drew Crawford led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Alex Olah contributed 12 points and nine boards.
Northwestern returns seven letterwinners and four starters from last year's squad which went 19-14 overall, including 8-10 in Big Ten play. The 'Cats participated in the National Invitation Tournament for the fourth straight season.
Last Meeting: NU posted an 81-51 victory over Texas Southern in the first meeting between the teams on Dec. 15, 2011 in Evanston. John Shurna led the Wildcats with 20 points, while Drew Crawford added 17.
SCOUTING TEXAS SOUTHERN
The Tigers opened their season on Sunday, dropping an 81-63 decision at Boise State. Raymond Penn led Texas Southern with 25 points.
Omar Strong is the team's leading returning scorer as he averaged 13.3 points per game last season. TSU posted a 15-18 record a year ago, including going 12-6 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, good for a third-place finish.
Mike Davis is in his first season as head coach at Texas Southern. He was previously the head coach at Indiana and UAB.
CRAWFORD CLIMBS SCORING LIST
Forward Drew Crawford enters his senior year ranked 16th on NU's all-time scoring list with 1,283 career points. The point total is the second-highest of any returning Big Ten player, trailing only Indiana's Christian Watford by just four points (1,287). Last season, Crawford became the 17th Northwestern player to reach the 1,000 career point mark in his first three seasons of action. He is the second-leading returning scorer in the Big Ten in terms of scoring average behind only Penn State's Tim Frazier after posting a norm of 16.1 points per game in 2011-12.
Northwestern welcomes back two players who earned season honors from the Big Ten in 2011-12. Senior forward Drew Crawford was a consensus third-team all-league pick. He was also the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2010. In addition, guard Dave Sobolewski earned a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection a year ago. He was the fourth NU player to earn the honor in the last seven seasons.
CRAWFORD NAMED CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Drew Crawford's efforts both on and off the court have allowed him to be named one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence--community, classroom, character and competition. An economics major, Crawford was named a CoSIDA second-team Academic-All-American as a junior. Crawford has also been heavily involved in community service, including working with Special Olympics, Misericordia, Northwestern's Dance Marathon and Relay For Life, as well as making numerous visits to area schools as well as the Illinois Youth Center.
The Wildcats' appearance in the National Invitation Tournament a year ago was its fourth consecutive, marking the first time in school history that NU has made postseason appearances in four straight seasons. Northwestern had never made back-to-back postseason appearances prior to the 2009-10 campaign.
REACHING FOR THE TOP
This year's senior class enters its final campaign with 59 career victories. The school record for wins by a senior class is 76 victories achieved by last year's group. The Wildcats posted a school-record 20 wins in 2009-10 and again in 2010-11 before notching 19 wins a year ago.
HELLO, MY NAME IS...
Northwestern welcomes five true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen and two transfers who are eligible to the lineup this season. The Wildcats got much bigger in the off-season with the following additions to the lineup:
Among the list of newcomers to the Northwestern lineup is graduate student Jared Swopshire. He spent the last four seasons at Louisville, helping the team reach the Final Four last year. In his three seasons of action, he appeared in 109 contests, making 23 starts while averaging 3.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Swopshire is eligible to play this season and is pursing his graduate degree in sports administration.
Northwestern continues it season-opening homestand during which it plays four games in eight days on Thursday when it takes on Mississippi Valley State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
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