Nov. 24, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern continues its play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Monday as it hosts Gardner-Webb at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Following the contest, the Wildcats will travel to Las Vegas where they will take on Missouri on Thanksgiving night before facing UCLA the following evening.
NU is coming off a hard-fought 63-61 victory over IUPUI on Friday. JerShon Cobb broke a tie game by hitting the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining. The 'Cats rallied back from down by 11 points with 10 minutes to go in the contest. Drew Crawford scored all of his team-high 12 points in the second half while recording 10 rebounds to notch his second double-double of the young season. Dave Sobolewski contributed 10 points.
Series History: First meeting. Northwestern is 3-0 all-time against current members of the Big South Conference. NU is 2-0 vs. Liberty and won its only meeting with Radford. The most recent matchup was a 69-53 victory over Liberty Nov. 24, 2009 in Evanston.
The Runnin' Bulldogs trailed by just two at the half before eventually falling 72-63 at Missouri on Saturday. Jerome Hill and Naji Hibbert led the team with 17 points apiece.
Donta Harper averaged 15.5 points per game in Gardner-Webb's first two contests, but he has missed the last three games. Hibbert contributes 14.0 points per contest.
Gardner-Webb posted 21 wins last season. The program is 1-6 all-time vs. the Big Ten with the lone victory being a 73-72 decision over Minnesota on Nov. 29, 2005.
Tim Craft is in his first season as head coach at Gardner-Webb. He spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at East Carolina.
BEATING THE BUZZER
JerShon Cobb's jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining in a 63-61 win over IUPUI Nov. 22 marked the first time NU scored the game's decisive points in the final five seconds of a contest when either trailing or tied since John Shurna hit a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds to go in a 72-69 home in over Ohio State Feb. 18, 2009.
It has been quite some time since Northwestern had as large of a margin of victory on the road as it did in at UIC Nov. 20. The 35-point margin was the Wildcats' largest in a true road game since a 77-20 victory at University of Chicago on Jan. 14, 1944.
SOBOLEWSKI'S CAREER NIGHT
Junior guard Dave Sobolewski had the hot hand in a victory over UIC Nov. 20. He scored 17 first-half points en route to tallying a career-best 25 points, knocking down 9 of 14 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers. The effort came one day after Sobolewski's Benet Academy high school teammate Frank Kaminsky set a Wisconsin school record with 43 points against North Dakota. Sobolewski's mark topped his previous best of 23 points achieved as a freshman against Iowa on Feb. 9, 2012.
Redshirt senior Drew Crawford returned to the Northwestern lineup with a vengeance 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 1,501 career points. The total ranks 10th in school history and is 20 points behind Jitim Young (2001-04) for ninth place. Crawford is averaging 16.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to rank 10th and fourth, respectively, in the Big Ten. Adreian Payne of Michigan State is the only other league player to rank in the top 10 in both categories.
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. Cobb also posted a career-best 12 rebounds in a win at UIC Nov. 20 and knocked down the game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining in a 63-61 win over IUPUI Nov. 22.
HITTING THE GLASS
Redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin has been an effective rebounder so far this season. After grabbing 7 boards at Stanford Nov. 14, Lumpkin notched his first career double-figure rebounding game on Nov. 17 vs. Illinois State. His 11 rebounds were the most by an NU freshman since Drew Crawford had 12 in an NIT game at Rhode Island March 17, 2010. He followed it up with 10 boards at UIC, which coupled with 10 points gave him his first collegiate double-double. Lumpkin is the first NU player with double-figure rebounds in consecutive games since Crawford vs. Purdue (10) and at Rhode Island March 12 and 17 of 2010.
Northwestern heads to Las Vegas, taking on Missouri on Thanksgiving night. The contest is slated for a 9:30 p.m. Central time tip.
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