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    'Cats Travel To West Lafayette To Face No. 12 Purdue

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Julie Bielawski and the Wildcats travel to West Lafayette Thursday to take on the 12th-ranked Boilermakers.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Julie Bielawski and the Wildcats travel to West Lafayette Thursday to take on the 12th-ranked Boilermakers.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Jan. 24, 2007

    Purdue Game Notes
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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Wildcats take on No. 12 Purdue at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday night at Mackey Arena. It will be the second time in a week that the two squads will meet on the hardwood, as Northwestern hosted the Boilermakers last Thursday, and came up on the short end of a 73-41 affair. NU then travels to Champaign Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest against the Illini.

    Last Time Out ...
    The Wildcats fell to Wisconsin, 74-50, Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Senior A.J. Glasauer led Northwestern with 16 points while Julie Bielawski and Sara Stutz pulled down a team-high five rebounds each.

    "The way A.J. finished was a good indicator of where we can go when we're ready," head coach Beth Combs said. "We are looking forward to getting back on the court Tuesday."

    Northwestern jumped out to an early 8-2 lead thanks to treys by Kristin Cartwright and Erin Dickerson.

    But the Badgers had an answer, composing a 5-0 run to take a 12-10 lead with 13:12 remaining in the first half. A jumper by Sara Stutz cut the Wisconsin lead to one, 17-16, a few minutes later.

    UW outscored the Wildcats, 12-5 over the next four minutes to push the lead to double-figures with 5:17 left.

    A basket by Melissa Miller with 13 seconds left cut the Wisconsin lead to 38-28 at the half. Cartwright led NU with seven points at the break.

    The Badgers opened the second half on a 9-0 run, inflating the score to 47-28 by the 16-minute mark.

    Northwestern's offense skidded in the second frame, mustering two buckets in the first 10 minutes until Beth Marshall nailed a three-pointer with 9:49 remaining, pulling the score to 59-35. Wisconsin kept the 'Cats' offense at bay the rest of the game.

    Scouting the Boilermakers
    Purdue meets Northwestern for the second time in the past week, following a 73-41 victory against intra-state rival Indiana. The Boilermakers have faced either the Hoosiers or the 'Cats over the past four games. Purdue features three players in double-figures in first-team All-Big Ten honoree Katie Gearlds (17.7), Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton (14.2) and Erin Lawless (11.5). Wisdom-Hylton, a third-team All-Big Ten selection, leads the charge on the glass, pulling down 8.6 boards per outing. Purdue's mentor is first-year coach Sharon Versyp, who came to West Lafayette from Indiana. Versyp starred at Purdue from 1984-1988 where she earned All-Conference and All-America honors.

    The Series with Purdue
    Purdue holds a 35-18 advantage in the all-time series versus the 'Cats. Last Thursday, Dec. 18, the Boilermakers defeated NU, 73-41, at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Sophomore Kristin Cartwright and freshman Beth Marshall led Northwestern with nine points each. Marshall also led the team with a career-high seven rebounds. The last time Northwestern bested the Boilers was on Feb. 21, 1997, when NU pulled out a 64-55 victory at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    Score Early and Play Some "D"
    Northwestern is 5-0 on the year when leading at the half. The Wildcats' are 6-2 when holding opponents to less than 70 points.

    Playing the Best to be the Best
    According to collegeRPI.com, Northwestern is playing the 28th strongest schedule in the country. The Wildcats' schedule includes six opponents in last season's AP top-25, and seven that are currently in the top-25, or receiving votes. Those seven include No. 5 Ohio State, No. 12 Purdue, No. 22 Mississippi, No. 23 Michigan State and No. 25 Nebraska. DePaul and Utah were among those receiving votes.

    Taking Care of the Rock
    Northwestern's 12 turnovers against Ohio State on Jan. 14 was the lowest of the season. The 'Cats forced a dozen Buckeye mishaps as well.

    On the Upswing
    The Wildcats' 67-53 victory over Princeton put the season win total at six, matching the win total for the entire 2005-06 year.

    Is That Purple I See?
    Yes. Head coach Beth Combs sported an unusual "new-do" for the Jan. 7 game vs. Iowa. Combs accepted a dare to dye her hair purple if there were 3,000 pre-sold tickets to Sunday's game. The goal was reached and Combs' hair was a lovely shade of violet.

    Stutz Stepping Up
    Junior Sara Stutz has consistently scored in double figures throughout the season, tallying double digits in 16 of NU's 20 games. The Glenview, Ill., native is second on the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and third in FG percentage (44 percent). Stutz has also dished out 49 assists.

    Setting an Example
    Northwestern's upperclassmen have led the 'Cats in scoring in 17 of 20 games so far this season. Senior captain A.J. Glasauer has led NU in scoring 11 times, while junior Sara Stutz has been the top scorer six times. Fellow classmate Melissa Miller has topped the scoring column three times.

    On the Big Stage
    In the most recent NCAA stats (1/21/07), Northwestern ranks 19th in the nation in assists, averaging 17.1 per contest. A.J. Glasauer leads NU with 67 while Nadia Bibbs has dished out 65.

    Glasauer Leading the Way
    Senior captain A.J. Glasauer has been the Wildcats' leading scorer in 11 out of NU's 20 contests. She is averaging a team-best 12.9 points per game, while dishing out a team-high 67 assists. Glasauer recorded a season-high eight assists in Northwestern's 65-63 loss to Minnesota. The Freiburg, Germany native is averaging 29.3 minutes per game and a team-best 22-of-54 (41 percent) from beyond the arc. She also is second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio with 1.68 (40 turnovers compared to 67 assists).

    Coming out of the Blocks
    Freshman Kaitlin McInerney has made a statement early in her career, shooting a team-best 55 percent (59-of-107) from the field while also pulling down 5.7 rpg. She recorded the first double-double of her career on Dec. 16 against Nebraska, scoring 10 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. McInerney is 13th in the conference in blocked shots (1.10). The Oak Brook, Ill., native has been the 'Cats leading rebounder in six games so far this season.

    Glasauer Golden From The Line
    Senior A.J. Glasauer's 11-of-14 performance from the free-throw line at Utah on Dec. 20 ranked second in the Big Ten for free-throws made and first attempts.

    Miller Time
    Junior Melissa Miller poured in a career-high 16 points against Utah on Dec. 20. Miller registered 13 points and 13 rebounds against Illinois-Chicago on Nov. 29, marking Northwestern's first double-double of the season. Miller followed that performance with a 10-point, 12-rebound encore against Princeton in the first game of the Mildred and Roger L. White Invitational. The junior is the team's leading rebounder, averaging 6.3 rpg while also chipping in 7.6 ppg.