Dec. 6, 2013
Skip Myslenski's Western Michigan Primer
The Last Meeting
December 8, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern begins a stretch of five consecutive home games Saturday as it welcomes Western Michigan to Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.
NU hosts its four remaining nonconference games before opening Big Ten play at home against Wisconsin Jan. 2.
The string of home contests comes on the heels of the Wildcats playing their last three games and five of their last eight on the road. NU has already made two trips to the Pacific Time Zone this season and one to the Eastern.
The trek to the East came on Wednesday when the 'Cats traveled to NC State and suffered a 69-48 defeat as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Drew Crawford paced the Wildcats with 17 points and nine rebounds, but Northwestern was limited to 25 percent shooting from the field.
Series History: Northwestern leads 21-5 and has won the last 11 meetings.
Last Meeting: Craig Moore scored 24 points as Northwestern overcame a 15-point deficit to post a 65-63 win over Western Michigan in Kalamazoo Dec. 8, 2007.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN
The Broncos notched an 83-70 home win over Cornell in their most recent contest last Friday. Connar Tava led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds en route to being named the MAC West Player of the Week.
Redshirt senior guard David Brown paces the team with an average of 21.6 points per contest. Fellow redshirt senior Shayne Whittington contributes 16.6 points and a team-best 11.2 rebounds per game. The latter mark ranks in the top 10 nationally.
Steve Hawkins is in his 11th season as head coach at Western Michigan where he has a 186-147 record. He has a 323-258 mark in 20 season overall as a head coach, including nine years at Quincy University.
Northwestern and Western Michigan have a rich history against one another. With 26 previous meetings between the schools, the Broncos are the Wildcats fourth most often played nonconference opponent, trailing only Notre Dame (88), Marquette (28) and DePaul (28). NU opened its season against Western Michigan 19 times over a 24-year span from 1941-64. The Broncos were the Wildcats' first ever opponent at McGaw Hall on Dec. 6, 1952 with the visitors posting a 95-79 win.
CRAWFORD NAMED NOMINEE FOR ALLSTATE GOOD WORKS TEAM
Drew Crawford has been named a nominee for the Allstate Good Works Team® which honors players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport's finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. Among Crawford's community service efforts are Illinois Youth Commission, Relay For Life, Dance Marathon, Misericordia, Children's Heart Foundation, Be Positive Foundation, Project EXCITE, Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association as well as numerous elementary school visits.
Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,535 career points. The total ranks eighth in school history and is 40 points behind Kevin Rankin (1991-94) for seventh place. Crawford missed most of last season due to injury and 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.
After sitting out all of last season, JerShon Cobb has been impressive in his return to the court. He ranks second on the team and 15th in the Big Ten with an average of 13.9 points per game. Cobb handed out a career-high eight assists in the Wildcats' season-opener vs. Eastern Illinois. He followed up the performance by scoring 19 points 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. His 22 points vs. Missouri Nov. 28 and again the following day vs. UCLA were two shy of his career high achieved vs. Minnesota on March 8, 2012.
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.
BOOST OFF THE BENCH
Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 9.9 points per game, including scoring in double figures six times in the team's nine games. Demps tallied a season-high 15 points vs. No. 19/21 UCLA Nov. 29.
Big Ten Non-Starter Scoring Leaders
(through games played Dec. 4)
Name (Team) - Avg.
Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) - 10.7
Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa) - 10.0
Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 9.9
Bryson Scott (Purdue) - 9.8
Zach McCabe (Iowa) - 9.8
Northwestern takes the next eight days off for final exams before returning to action Dec. 16 when it hosts Mississippi Valley State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
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