Nov. 19, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern plays its third game of the young season against another squad from the state of Illinois on Wednesday as it makes the short trip into Chicago to take on UIC at 7 p.m.
The contest is being televised live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and can be heard on WGN AM 720.
The Wildcats previously faced Eastern Illinois in their season-opener on Nov. 9 before taking on Illinois State on Sunday.
NU and UIC already have one common opponent this season in Eastern Illinois. The 'Cats defeated the Panthers 72-55 while the Flames dropped an 86-66 decision to EIU last Saturday.
Northwestern is coming off a 68-64 home loss to Illinois State. Trailing by 19 in the second half, the Wildcats trimmed the deficit to two twice in the final minute but couldn't make it all the way back.
Series History: UIC leads the all-time series 4-3, including winning the lone previous matchup at the Pavilion in 2003.
Last Meeting: Northwestern committed 16 turnovers and made just 10 of 20 free throw attempts in falling 50-44 at home to UIC on Dec. 1, 2012.
The Flames (1-2) dropped an 86-66 decision to Eastern Illinois at home last Saturday despite 20 points by Marc Brown. UIC allowed the Panthers to shoot 57.1 percent from the field in the contest.
Brown leads the team with an average of 21.7 points per game while shooting 62.2 percent from the field. Kelsey Barlow, a transfer from Purdue, contributes 11.3 points and team highs of 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
Howard Moore is in his fourth season as head coach at UIC where he has a 34-64 record.
RETURN TO THE PAVILION
Northwestern may have lost its only previous matchup vs. the Flames at UIC Pavilion on Dec. 20, 2003, but the Wildcats have had success at the facility since that contest. NU captured the Chicago Invitational Challenge title with a pair of wins Nov. 27-28, 2009. The 'Cats knocked off 23rd-ranked Notre Dame 72-58 before taking down previously unbeaten Iowa State 67-65 the following day in the title game.
Redshirt senior Drew Crawford returned to the Northwestern lineup with a vengence in the season-opener against Eastern Illinois, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 25 points. The point total was the highest by a Wildcat in a season-opener since John Shurna scored 31 in a victory at Northern Illinois Nov. 12, 2010. Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,471 career points. The total ranks 10th in school history and is 50 points behind Jitim Young (2001-04) for ninth place. Crawford is the only player in the Big Ten to currently rank in the top 10 in the league in both scoring (17.7 ppg, 5th) and rebounding (8.0 rpg, 6th).
After sitting out all of last season, JerShon Cobb has been impressive in his return to the court. He handed out a career-high eight assists vs. Eastern Illinois, well surpassing his previous career high of three which he achieved on eight occasions. He followed up the performance by scoring 14 of his team-high 19 points in the second half at Stanford Nov. 14 and then scored 19 again vs. Illinois State Nov. 17. Cobb's 11 free throws and 14 attempts against the Redbirds were both career highs. The 14 attempts were the most by a Northwestern player since Jitim Young had 15 vs. Michigan State on March 12, 2004.
HITTING THE GLASS
Redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin has been active on the glass each of the last two contests, leading the Wildcats in rebounds in both contests. After grabbing seven boards at Stanford Nov. 14, Lumpkin notched his first career double-figure rebounding game on Nov. 17 vs. Illinois State. Lumpkin had 11 rebounds in the game, the most by a Northwestern freshman since Drew Crawford had 12 in an NIT game at Rhode Island March 17 2010.
When Chris Collins won his debut as head coach with a 72-55 victory over Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9, he became the 17th head coach in program history to debut with a win. Collins is the 24th head coach all-time at Northwestern.
Northwestern has just one day off before returning to action at home Friday as it squares off against IUPUI. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The matchup is affiliated with the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
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