Dec. 29, 2010
Northwestern (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 12 Purdue (12-1, 1-0)
Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
Mackey Arena (14,123)
West Lafayette, Ind. 11 a.m. CT
TV: ESPN2 (Lou Canellis and Stephen Bardo)
Audio: 720 AM WGN and wgnradio.com (David Kaplan and Tim Doyle)
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)
Northwestern tips off its 2010-11 Big Ten season Friday as it travels to 12th-ranked Purdue for a New Year's Eve matinee tilt. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. Central time.
The Wildcats are off to a 9-1 start for the second consecutive season. Most recently, NU posted a 70-47 home win over Mount St. Mary's Dec. 23. Drew Crawford led the way with 16 points, while Luka Mirkovic contributed 15. John Shurna nearly notched a triple-double, posting 13 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists in just 24 minutes of action. Northwestern scored the game's first 20 points to race out to a substantial lead.
Last meeting: No. 6 Purdue defeated Northwestern 69-61 in the quarterfinal round of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. The 'Cats posted a 72-64 win over the sixth-ranked Boilermakers in Evanston in the lone regular-season meeting between the teams a year ago.
Top Tag Teams
The Boilermakers (12-1, 1-0) opened their Big Ten season Tuesday by pulling away in the second half for an 80-57 win at Michigan. JaJuan Johnson led Purdue with 22 points, while E'Twaun Moore chipped in with 21.
Johnson paces the Boilers with averages of 20 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while Moore contributes 19.5 points per contest.
Matt Painter is in his sixth season as the head coach at his alma mater. He is 124-57 at Purdue and 149-62 in seven overall seasons as a head coach.
Friday's matchup features two of the top scoring duos in the nation in Northwestern's Drew Crawford
and John Shurna
and Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson. (courtesy STATS, Inc.)
1. San Jose State --
Adrian Oliver (25.8), Justin Graham (16.1) - 41.9
2. Nicholls --
Anatoly Bose (25.0), Fred Hunter (15.9) - 40.9
3. Purdue --
JaJuan Johnson (20.0), E'Twaun Moore (19.5) - 39.5
4. Providence --
Marshon Brooks (23.4), Vincent Council (15.6) - 39.0
5. Northwestern --
John Shurna (23.3), Drew Crawford (15.5) - 38.8
So Far, So Good
Northwestern is off to an 9-1 for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in school history. (The 1930-31 Big Ten championship squad opened with a school-record 12 straight victories.) The Wildcats matched last year's squad which also posted a school-record five wins (5-1) in the month of November. This year's team finished the program's first undefeated November when playing at least three games.
Northwestern ranks 13th in the nation with an impressive .492 field goal percentage this season. The Wildcats are 24th in 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 40.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arch. NU is also 11th with an average of 9.3 made 3-pointers per game. Individually, John Shurna is second nationally with a .623 3-point percentage and 13th with a .611 overall field goal percentage. His 10-for-11 performance from the field in a win over Long Island Dec. 13 ranks as a tie for the second-best effort in program history.
Thompson Leads the Way
Entering his senior season, Michael Thompson already established himself as one of the top players in program history. Thompson is currently 14th in school history with 1,284 career points after starting the season in 21st place. He became the second player in NU history to post 400 career assists when he reached the milestone Nov. 30 in a win over Georgia Tech. Thompson is just 24 assists shy of surpassing the record of 452 held by Patrick Baldwin (1991-94). A starter at point guard each of his four seasons, Thompson was a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2009-10.
A year after shattering the school season record with 317 3-point makes, the Wildcats have picked up right where they left off. NU leads the Big Ten and is 11th nationally with an average of 9.3 3-point makes per game this season. John Shurna leads all Big Ten players with and average of 3.3 triples per contest.
A year after leading the Big Ten in scoring during conference play, Northwestern is putting a number of points on the board again this year. The Wildcats currently rank second in the Big Ten to only Ohio State with an average of 79.1 points per game. Northwestern's 97 points in its season-opener at Northern Illinois Nov. 12 marked its highest total in the 11-year Bill Carmody era and was its most since a 97-93 overtime win over No. 8 Michigan March 12, 1994. It was also the Wildcats' most points in a true road since a 98-77 victory at Valparaiso Dec. 9, 1975. Coupled with a 91-71 win over Georgia Tech and a 92-61 victory over St. Francis (N.Y.), NU has posted multiple games scoring over 90 points in the same season since the 1993-94 campaign when it reached the mark four times. Northwestern had scored 90 points in a game just twice in Bill Carmody's first 10 seasons as head coach.
Northwestern returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Monday as it opens its Big Ten home slate against Michigan State. Only a limited number of standing room tickets remain for the contest. For more information, calling 888-GO-PURPLE.
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