Nov. 21, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern ventures away from Evanston for the first time this season as it heads to Texas to participate in the South Padre Island Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Wildcats open up play against TCU at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The contest is being video streamed live on NUsports.com.
The loser of the matchup takes on the loser of the contest between Illinois State and UAB at 4 p.m. Saturday while the winners square off at 7 p.m.
Northwestern has won in-season tournaments two of the last three seasons. In 2010, the 'Cats defeated Notre Dame and Iowa State to capture the Chicagoland Invitational Challenge and topped LSU, Tulsa and Seton Hall to win last year's Charleston Classic.
Series History: TCU has won both previous meetings with Northwestern, both on a neutral court. The last meeting was a 66-64 win for the Horned Frogs Dec. 28, 1987 at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore. The other meeting was a 93-78 TCU win Dec. 29, 1971 at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Horned Frogs (4-1) are coming off a 47-45 home win over Navy on Thursday. Devonta Abron led TCU with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Jarvis Ray leads the team with an average of 10.2 points per game. TCU has held its first five opponents to a .349 field goal percentage. The Horned Frogs posted an 18-15 overall mark, including a 7-7 record in Mountain West play, last season.
Trent Johnson is in his first season as the head coach at TCU. He has a career record of 230-186 in 14 overall seasons as a head coach, including stints at Nevada, Stanford and LSU.
Friday's game marks the third time in the last six seasons that Northwestern has faced a team coached by Trent Johnson. All three meetings will have come against different schools: Stanford, LSU and now TCU. The Wildcats defeated LSU 88-82 in Charleston, S.C., last season while Johnson was at the helm of the Tigers. In addition, NU redshirt junior forward Nikola Cerina spent his first two seasons as TCU. In his first game as a Wildcat against Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday, Cerina posted 5 points and 7 rebounds in 10 minutes of action before suffering a sprained ankle that will prevent him from playing this weekend.
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.
The Wildcats have found the month of November to their liking. Northwestern has won its last 19 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.
CRAWFORD CLIMBS SCORING LIST
Forward Drew Crawford currently ranks 13th in school history with 1,333 career points. He is 14 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.
DISHING IT OUT
Sophomore Dave Sobolewski has been in a giving mood through the Wildcats' first four 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 25 assists to just two turnovers through NU's first three games. His average of 6.3 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 four contests, Northwestern leads the nation with an average of 23.5 assists per game.
Northwestern led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in 2011-12 with an average of 9.0 3-point makes per game. The Wildcats have picked up where they left off, averaging 10.0 makes through the first four games of the 2012-13 season.
The loser of Friday's contest 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. Both games are being televised on CBS Sports Network.
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