Nov. 19, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern closes out it season-opening four-game homestand on Tuesday as it hosts Delaware State at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
The contest is affiliated with the South Padre Island Invitational. The Wildcats will make the trek to Texas to take on TCU on Friday before facing either Illinois State or UAB on Saturday.
Northwestern rolled to a 27-point halftime lead on Sunday in taking down Fairleigh Dickinson, 80-53. Reggie Hearn scored all of his team-high 14 points in the first half, while Alex Olah finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Wildcats led 41-14 at the break and led by as many as 36 points in the second half.
Series History: Northwestern leads the all-time series with Delaware State 2-0 with both games being played in Evanston. In the most recent meeting, the Wildcats posted a 61-54 overtime victory on Dec. 3, 2005. NU is 10-0 all-time against current members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
SCOUTING DELAWARE STATE
The Hornets (3-1) opened their season with three straight wins before falling 87-48 at Illinois State on Sunday. Miles Bowman scored a team-high 10 points off the bench.
Delaware State returns four starters from last year's team that went 15-14 overall, including 12-4 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. Tahj Tate was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year after averaging 16.1 points per game.
Greg Jackson is in his 13th season as head coach at Delaware State where he has a 184-184 record. He has a 347-262 mark in 22 seasons overall as a head coach.
TRIO NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS
Seniors Drew Crawford, Reggie Hearn and Alex Marcotullio have been named the team's captains this season. All three are in their fourth year with the program and have led the Wildcats to postseason berths in each of their first three seasons.
BESTING THEIR BEST
Seniors Reggie Hearn and Jared Swopshire each posted career-best point totals in a win over Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15. Hearn's team-high 23 points topped his previous best of 20 points in a win at Illinois Feb. 5, 2012. Swopshire's previous career-high point total was 15 against St. John's on Jan. 9, 2010 while he was playing for Louisville. He knocked down five of his 3-point attempts in the victory over the Delta Devils. During the entire 2011-12 season at Louisville, Swopshire made five of 24 attempts from 3-point territory.
DISHING IT OUT
Sophomore Dave Sobolewski has been in a giving mood through the Wildcats' first three games. The point guard handed out a career-best nine assists in Northwestern's season-opening win over Texas Southern Nov. 13 and then followed it up with eight helpers against Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15. Sobolewski has 21 assists to just two turnovers through NU's first three games. His average of 7.0 per game ranks second in the Big Ten to only Michigan's Trey Burke (8.0 pg). A year ago, Sobolewski led the Big Ten and paced all nation's freshmen with a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio. Through one week of play, Northwestern leads the nation with an average of 24.3 assists per game.
The Wildcats have found the month of November to their liking. Northwestern has won its last 18 games in the month of November, the third-longest streak in the nation. Only Syracuse (29) and UNLV (20) have longer active winning streaks in the month.
DOING IT ON DEFENSE
The Wildcats have been especially stingy on the defensive end in the first half twice this season. Northwestern limited Texas Southern to 6-of-29 shooting (20.7 percent) in the first half as the 'Cats led 43-14 at the break. NU also held Fairleigh Dickinson to the same point total before the break (41-14) and 6-of-28 shooting (21.4%) on Nov. 18. The 14 points are the fewest by a Northwestern opponent in a half since UC Riverside scored 14 points in the first half on Dec. 1, 2008.
CRAWFORD CLIMBS SCORING LIST
Forward Drew Crawford currently ranks tied for 13th in school history with 1,315 career points. He is 32 points shy of matching Rod Roberson for 12th place. 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 makes the trip to Texas to participate in the South Padre Island Invitational. The Wildcats take on TCU at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The loser faces the loser of the matchup between UAB and Illinois State at 4 p.m. Saturday while the winners square off at 7 p.m. Friday's contest is being streamed live on NUsports.com while Saturday's game is being televised on CBS Sports Network.
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