Dec. 26, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. - Local rivals Northwestern and DePaul match up for the first time in five seasons on Friday as they square off at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
The Wildcats have won three straight contests, most recently posting a 58-52 home win over Brown on Sunday. Drew Crawford led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds while Kale Abrahamson added 11 points and a career-high-tying nine rebounds while converting a key three-point play with 42.9 seconds remaining that pushed the NU lead to five.
Friday's game features three of the top leading active scorers in the nation. DePaul's Cleveland Melvin ranks ninth with 1,656 career points, Crawford is 15th with 1,600 and the Blue Demons' Brandon Young is 19th with 1,546.
Series History: DePaul leads 19-10. The teams have split the last 14 meetings dating back to 1986.
Last Meeting: Kevin Coble scored 25 points and Northwestern held DePaul to 24.1 percent shooting as the Wildcats rolled to a 63-36 win Dec. 6, 2008 in Evanston. The point total was DePaul's lowest since Jan. 29, 1949.
The Blue Demons are coming off a 69-64 loss at Illinois State on Sunday. Billy Garrett led DePaul with 18 points while Brandon Young added 17.
Senior Cleveland Melvin leads the team with averages of 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.0 percent from 3-point range. Young contributes 15.3 points and 4.3 assists per contest.
Oliver Purnell is in his fourth season as the head coach at DePaul where he has a 37-69 record. He has a 431-348 record in 26 seasons overall as a head coach.
TOP 'CAT...OR DEMON
Since 1974, the most valuable player of the game between Northwestern and DePaul as voted on by the media has been named the Waldo Fisher-Frank McGrath MVP. DePaul's Dave Corzine was the first recipient of the honor. Northwestern's Billy McKinney (1975, 1976) and Kevin Coble (2006, 2008) are the only individuals to earn the honor twice.
Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,600 career points. The total ranks fifth in school history and is 89 points behind Michael Thompson (2008-11) for fourth 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. Crawford ranks eighth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.5 ppg) and sixth in rebounding (7.9 ppg). Adreian Payne of Michigan State is the only other Big Ten player to rank in the top 10 in the league in both categories.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
When Drew Crawford (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Sanjay Lumpkin (13 points, 10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles against Mississippi Valley State Dec. 16, it marked the first time that Northwestern teammates posted double-doubles in the same game since John Shurna (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Luka Mirkovic (11 points, 11 rebounds) accomplished the feat in a 53-44 win over Texas-Pan American Jan. 7, 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 16th in the Big Ten with an average of 13.6 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.
Drew Crawford has been both an effective scorer and rebounder in each of the Wildcats' last two contests. In a victory over Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 16, Crawford posted 26 points and 10 rebounds. He followed up the effort with 24 points and 11 boards in a win over Brown on Sunday. Crawford is the first Wildcat to post 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in consecutive games since Jitim Young had 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. Indiana and 25 points and 10 rebounds vs. Wisconsin on Feb. 5 and 8, respectively, of 2003.
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 10.0 points per game, including scoring in double figures seven times in the team's 12 games. Demps tallied 15 points vs. No. 19/21 UCLA Nov. 29 before notching a career best 18 in a win over Mississippi Valley State Dec. 16.
Big Ten Non-Starter Scoring Leaders
(through games played Dec. 25)
Name (Team) - Avg.
Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa) - 10.8
Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 10.0
Malik Smith (Minnesota) - 10.0
Bryson Scott (Purdue) - 9.8
Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) - 9.3
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. A second double-double followed for Lumpkin against Mississippi Valley State Dec. 16, posting 13 points and 10 boards. Lumpkin is the first NU freshman to post 10+ rebounds in three or more games since Evan Eschmeyer had four during the 1995-96 season.
Northwestern opens up its Big Ten season at home next Thursday as it takes on Wisconsin. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. with ESPN2 providing live television coverage.
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