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    NU Turns Focus on Big Ten Play; Opens at Iowa Friday

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Northwestern looks to dismantle a tough 8-5 Hawkeye team Friday evening.
    Northwestern looks to dismantle a tough 8-5 Hawkeye team Friday evening.

    Dec. 29, 2011

    Northwestern (10-3) at Iowa (8-5)
    Friday, Dec. 30
    Carver-Hawkeye Arena
    Iowa City, Iowa. • 6 p.m. CT
    Streaming Video: Big Ten Digital Network
    Iowa Website
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE


    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern looks to return to its winning ways Friday evening when it opens the Big Ten season at Iowa. Tip is set for 6 p.m. from Carver-Hawkeye Arena and will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network.

    Through a flurry of illness and injury, the Wildcats have dropped two of their last three outings after jumping out to their best record (9-1) since 1996. NU shut the door on the nonconference season against Toledo Tuesday, finishing with a 10-3 mark. Following Friday's action, Northwestern returns to the hardwood at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 when it hosts Minnesota

    Last Time Out...
    Freshman Morgan Jones recorded 18 points but it was not enough as a late Toledo run proved to be the dagger in the Rockets' 75-56 win at Welsh-Ryan Arena Tuesday evening. Kendall Hackney joined Jones in double figures.

    Hackney, Jones Steady Wildcats
    Morgan Jones and Kendall Hackney have combined to score 48 percent of NU's points this season (424 of 882). Hackney leads the Wildcats in both scoring (17.2) and rebounding (6.1).



    Opponent profile
    Iowa Hawkeyes
    2011-12 Record: 8-5
    Series History: Iowa leads, 44-13
    Last Meeting: Feb. 13, 2011; Iowa, 86-75, Welsh-Ryan Arena

    Winning Ways
    This year's senior class of Allison Mocchi and Brittany Orban are the winningest group of Wildcats since 1996-97. The two have been an integral part of the Wildcats' renaissance, posting 54 victories since the 2008-09 season. Over the past three seasons (including the current year), head coach Joe McKeown
    has guided the Wildcats to a combined 47 victories.

    Wildcats Shot Out To Best Start Under McKeown
    With its 79-49 victory over UNLV on Dec. 18, Northwestern improved to 9-1 on the year; its best record through 10 games in Joe McKeown's tenure. In the two previous seasons, the Wildcats were 8-2 through the opening 10 games. The last time NU went 9-1 to open the season was in the 1995-96 season. The Wildcats dropped the next game to Kansas State, 64-45.

    `Tis The Season For Charitable Acts
    Northwestern turned in a season-best 20-of-21 (95 percent) effort from the charity stripe against UNLV (12/18/11). For their effort, the 'Cats moved into 5th in the Big Ten (up from 11th three weeks ago), connecting on 73.2 percent of their attempts.

    High Five
    According to the most recent NCAA statistics, (12.18.11), and freshman Karly Roser ranks sixth in the nation in assists per game (6.8). Roser is second in the Big Ten in that category.

    May I Assist You?
    A trademark of Joe McKeown's teams have been their ability to move the ball and rack up assists. This year is no different, as the Wildcats are second in the Big Ten, averaging 17.7 assists per outing. That number also ranks 7th in the nation according to the latest NCAA statistics (12.18.11). Against Morgan State, the Wildcats recorded a season-high 32 helps.


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