Nov. 30, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- It's the North Shore against the West Loop as Northwestern and UIC square off in a crosstown matchup at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday. Tip time is set for 1 p.m.
The contest airs at 7 p.m. Saturday on Comcast SportsNetChicago and is available live on BTN2Go. The game can also be heard on 720 AM WGN and online at wgnradio.com.
The Wildcats are looking to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the season on Tuesday, falling 77-57 to Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. NU trailed by just two at the half, but the Terrapins were able to pull away after the break. Reggie Hearn paced Northwestern with 19 points.
The loss snapped the Wildcats' 21-game winning streak in the month of November and their four-game winning streak in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
NU enters the contest tied with Indiana for first in the Big Ten in opponents scoring average, allowing just 56.7 points per contest.
Series History: Northwestern and UIC have split six all-time meetings. The teams are matching up for the first time since Dec. 14, 2005 when the Flames posted a 71-62 win in Evanston.
The Flames (5-1) posted a 58-46 road win at Northern Illinois Tuesday night. Hayden Humes led the way with 18 points as UIC limited the Huskies to 32.7 percent shooting from the field.
Humes, a transfer from Toledo, leads the team with averages of 13.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while Gary Talton contributes 13.2 points per contest. The Flames are limiting their opponents to 36.8 percent shooting this season, including just 25.5 percent from 3-point range.
Howard Moore is in his third season as the head coach at UIC where he has a 20-47 record. He was previously an assistant coach at Wisconsin.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Though the end result didn't go the way they would have liked on Tuesday, the Wildcats did a great job of taking care of the basketball against Maryland. Northwestern committed just four turnovers in the entire contest, the fewest since it committed three in an overtime game at Illinois on Dec. 30, 2009. NU is committing an average of just 10.1 turnovers per game, a mark that ranks 13th in the country.
SO FAR, SO GOOD
Northwestern has posted at least six wins through its first seven games for the fifth-straight season. The Wildcats opened 2010-11 with eight-consecutive wins before winning their first seven a year ago. NU began the 2009-10 campaign 10-1 en route to earning an AP national ranking.
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 1.83 ratio (130 assists, 71 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 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 8.7 makes through the first seven games of the 2012-13 season.
Northwestern hits the road next Tuesday as it travels to Waco, Texas, to take on Baylor. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. with ESPN2 providing live television coverage.
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