Jan. 16, 2009
Iowa Game Notes
EVANSTON, ILL. -- Northwestern travels to Iowa City this weekend following a mid-week bye on Thursday and an overtime loss to Purdue last Sunday (Jan. 11) at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Looking ahead, the Wildcats host Michigan State on Thursday, Jan. 22 and travel to Minnesota Saturday for a 2 p.m. showdown with the Gophers on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Last Time Out Against Purdue...
With tight scoring, overtime action and emotions running high, the matchup between Northwestern and Purdue was, in the words of head coach Joe McKeown, "a great college basketball game." When the dust had settled, the Wildcats fell just short, as Purdue emerged with a 67-57 win in OT. Jenny Eckhart contributed a season-and game-high 12 points, while center Amy Jaeschke recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks. Freshman Maggie Mocchi contributed 10 points and six rebounds off the bench for Northwestern.
Scouting the Hawkeyes
Iowa enters the game with a 10-7 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the Big Ten and riding a two-game winning streak. Last week, Iowa defeated Illinois, 72-62, and Minnesota, 74-57 to pull its conference record to .500. The Hawkeyes were on a three-game losing skid before last week, dropping two games to Purdue sandwiched by a loss at Indiana. Iowa's other victory came on the road against Wisconsin--a 73-63 decision. The Hawks are led by a trio of seniors--Megan Skouby (14.0 ppg), Kristi Smith (11.6) and Wendy Ausdemore (10.0) who are their top three scorers. Smith is the team's threat from beyond the arc, connecting on 42.7 percent of her looks from deep. Skouby, meanwhile, is not who you want to see at the free throw line, as she leads the conference with a .870 free-throw shooting clip. As a team, Iowa tops the Big Ten in free-throw percentage with a .783 mark. Skouby is also tied for third in the league with 2.00 blocked shots a game. Sophomore Kachine Alexander and junior JoAnn Hamlin lead Iowa on the boards with 7.4 and 7.3 rpg, respectively. As a team, Iowa is outscoring its opponents by an average of 4.2 points per outing.
The Series against Iowa
The Hawkeyes hold a 40-12 lead in the all-time series.
Sophomores Amy Jaeschke and Meshia Reed know that Big Ten play is really what counts. The two have scored 40 percent of the team's points in the first six league contests. Jaeschke leads the squad with an average of 14.5 ppg, while Reed is third on the team with 7.5. Freshman Maggie Mocchi is second on the team in scoring with 7.7 points per outing and second in rebounding with 3.5 rpg. Jaeschke is leading the team on the boards with 6.2 rpg while Reed is second on the team in field goal percentage in conference games, shooting .581 (18-of-31) through the six games.
Though the record doesn't reflect the progress Northwestern has made this season, consider the following:
Northwestern has held the lead at halftime in 10-of its-17 games this season.
All but five of NU's 12 losses have been by single-digits and four have been by six points or less.
Two games have gone into overtime, including last Sunday's loss against Purdue
Comparing this year's numbers with last year's stats at the same time (through 17 games) shows that the 'Cats have improved in points per game, scoring margin, field goal percentage, free-throw percentage, rebounding margin, turnover margin, assist/turnover ratio, blocks and turnovers.
The Wildcats On The Big Stage
As of Jan. 11, Northwestern ranks 59th nationally in field goal percentage (.426) and 56th in blocked shots with 4.6 per game. Individually, sophomore Amy Jaeschke is 50th in the nation in rebounds per game and 8th in blocked shots. She also appears in the top 100 in field goal percentage (77rd) and points per game (89th).
For complete game notes, please click on the PDF above.