Nov. 26, 2012
Watch Maryland Preview: Bill Carmody | Jared Swopshire | Reggie Hearn
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern seeks its fifth-straight win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and its 22nd-straight victory in the month of November as it plays host to future Big Ten member Maryland Tuesday evening.
Tip time is set for 8:15 p.m. with ESPN2 providing live television coverage. The game can also be seen on WatchESPN and heard on 720 AM WGN and wgnradio.com.
The Wildcats are seeking their third-consecutive undefeated November. A victory over the Terrapins would give NU seven wins this month which would be a program record for the month. The 'Cats went 6-0 during November of 2011.
Northwestern is coming off a tournament win at the South Padre Island Invitational last weekend, defeating TCU 55-31 before edging Illinois State 72-69 in overtime in the championship game. It was the Wildcats' third in-season tournament victory in the last four seasons. Jared Swopshire was named the tourney MVP, while Drew Crawford and Dave Sobolewski were also on the all-tourney team.
Series History: Northwestern won the only previous meeting between the schools 66-62 Dec. 6, 1958 in Evanston. Video of that contest can be seen on the Northwestern University YouTube page.
The Terrapins (4-1) are coming off a 70-53 home win over Georgia Southern on Saturday. Charles Mitchell came off the bench to lead the team with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Sophomore center Alex Len leads Maryland with averages of 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. The Terrapins are out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 15.2 boards per game this season.
Mark Turgeon is in his second season as the head coach at Maryland, leading the team to a 17-15 record last season. He was previously the head coach at Texas A&M.
NU IN THE BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE
Northwestern is 6-7 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including four straight wins. Ohio State (current) is the only other Big Ten school to post wins four straight years in the Challenge. Coupled with a win at Boston College in the 2011 NIT second round, the Wildcats have won five straight games vs. ACC foes.
12/1/99 - vs. Florida State - L, 46-60
11/28/00 - at Clemson - L, 44-57
11/28/01 - vs. Florida State- W, 57-50
12/4/02 - at NC State - L, 49-74
12/1/03 - at Florida State - L, 53-71
12/1/04 - vs. Virginia - L, 44-48
11/30/05 - at Virginia - L, 57-72
11/28/06 - vs. Miami (Fla.) - W, 61-59
11/27/07 - at Virginia - L, 52-94
12/3/08 - vs. Florida State - W, 73-59
12/1/09 - at NC State - W, 65-53
11/30/10 - vs. Georgia Tech - W, 91-71
11/29/11 - at Georgia Tech - W, 76-60
SETTING THE STANDARD
The 31 points that Northwestern limited TCU to on Nov. 23 were the fewest in Bill Carmody's 13 seasons as head coach and rank as a tie for the second-lowest total by an NU opponent since 1944. Only Oakland has scored fewer points against the Wildcats in a 68-30 loss to NU on Nov. 22, 1998. SIU-Edwardsville was also limited to 31 on Dec. 1, 1982.
DOING IT ON DEFENSE
The Wildcats have been especially stingy on the defensive end in the first half this season. In three of the team's first five contests, Northwestern's opponent managed just 14 points. NU limited Texas Southern to 6-of-29 shooting (20.7%) on Nov. 13, Fairleigh Dickinson to 6-of-28 shooting (21.4%) on Nov. 18 and TCU to 6-of-22 shooting (27.3%) on Nov. 23. 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. The Wildcats rank first in the Big Ten with a 53.3 opponents scoring average.
The Wildcats have found the month of November to their liking. Northwestern has won its last 21 games in the month, the second-longest streak in the nation. Only Syracuse (30) has a longer active winning streaks in the month. Indiana also has 21 straight November victories. NU is off to a 6-0 start for the third-consecutive season, starting the 2010-11 campaign with eight straight wins and last season with seven consecutive victories.
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.
DISHING IT OUT
Sophomore Dave Sobolewski has been in a giving mood through the Wildcats' first six 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. His average of 5.0 assists per game ranks third in the Big Ten. A year ago, Sobolewski led the Big Ten and paced all nation's freshmen with a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio. Through six contests, Northwestern ranks fifth in the nation with an average of 19.3 assists per game while leading the country with a .758 assist percentage.
Northwestern is well known for playing "team" offense and that's reflected in the statistics. The Wildcats ranked fourth in the nation with a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio last season and they're first in the Big Ten so far this year with a 1.73 ratio (116 assists, 67 turnovers). NU ranked second nationally to only Wisconsin with a 1.70 mark in 2010-11. NU also ranked fourth in the country last season with an average of just 10.2 turnovers per contest.
Northwestern plays host to crosstown foe UIC at 1 p.m. Saturday. The contest airs on Comcast SportsNet Chicago at 7 p.m. that evening and can be streamed live on BTN2Go.
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