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    'Cats Travel To Minneapolis For Showdown With Gophers Thursday Evening

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Kendall Hackney and the Wildcats face Minnesota at 7 p.m. at Willams Arena.
    Kendall Hackney and the Wildcats face Minnesota at 7 p.m. at Willams Arena.

    Jan. 6, 2010

    Minnesota Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Wildcats head north to Minneapolis for the first of two road games this week as they battle the Gophers in a 7 p.m. contest Thursday evening. Following the trip to the Twin Cities, NU heads to West Lafayette for a 1 p.m. CT showdown Sunday with Purdue. The game will be streamed live on

    Fans wishing to stay up to date on the action in Thursday's game can do so by following the username @NU_sportsLIVE on Twitter. Gametracker will be available on The game will also be broadcast live on WNUR 89.3FM.

    Opponent profile
    Minnesota Golden Gophers
    • 2009-10 Record: 9-5, 2-1
    • Series History: 30-26, Minnesota
    • Last Meeting: February 23, 2009; 62-53 Northwestern

    Last Time Against the Gophers
    Three Wildcats tallied double figures and Northwestern shot 45 percent from the field, including 50 percent from three-point land and 88 percent from the line en route to a 62-53 win over Minnesota at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Kristin Cartwright notched 14 points and collected a game-high eight rebounds while Brittany Orban and sophomore Amy Jaeschke added 15 and 12 points, respectively.

    Northwestern held Minnesota to just 4-of-18 from beyond the arc, a vital weapon in their scoring arsenal, while hitting 6-of-12 from the same distance. Erin Dickerson converted on a game-high three triples to spark NU's sharp shooting.

    Noting Minnesota
    • Minnesota has won four out of its last six contests entering Thursday's game, including a 72-69 overtime triumph at home against Iowa Sunday. With that victory, the Golden Gophers are now 2-1 in Big Ten action, also having defeated Penn State at home (56-48) and dropping a 51-43 decision to Purdue at Mackey Arena.
    • Sophomore Kiara Buford leads Minnesota offensively, recording 14.6 ppg while also shooting 42 percent from behind the arc. Senior Ashley Ellis-Milan also averages double-figures for Minnesota (10.4 ppg) and is the team's leading rebounder with 5.5 per outing.
    • The Gophers also lead the league in steals, averaging 10.64 snatches per outing. Guard Brittany McCoy is their primary pick-pocket with 39 on the season.

    In Case You're Curious...
    After going 7-23 and 3-15 last year, second-year head coach Joe McKeown and his Wildcats have become one of the biggest turnaround stories in the nation, jumping out to an 11-4, 2-2 record. More information can be found in the ensuing notes, but here are a few quick bullet points to illustrate just how unprecedented this season has turned out to be thus far: Though NU's losses to No. 6 Ohio State and Penn State eliminated a few of these notes, they are still worth pointing out. The last time...
    • Northwestern won six-straight games was in the 1995-96 season (OSU loss ended the win streak)
    • the Wildcats won its first two Big Ten games was the 13 years ago (1995-96)
    • NU won back-to-back Big Ten contests was in 1999-00
    • Northwestern had a better record than 11-3 to start the season was in 1995-96
    • the Wildcats had 11 wins in a season was in the 1998-99 season, when NU went 12-16
    • Northwestern beat Purdue was on Feb. 21, 1997
    • NU started the conference season with a win was in 1998-99
    • Northwestern won a road conference game was at Michigan in 2005-06

    Marshall, Jaeschke Rank Among Nation's Best
    According to the most recent NCAA statistics (1/4/10), Beth Marshall and Amy Jaeschke are among the nation's best in their respective crafts. Marshall is 16th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35) while Jaeschke is fifth in blocked shots (3.53 per outing). Both are first in their respective categories in the Big Ten.

    For complete game notes, please click on the PDF above.