Illinois State (0-2) at Northwestern (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 17, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117) -- Evanston, Illinois.
Television: Big Ten Digital Media. Home Record: ISU 0-0, NU 0-0. Away Record:
ISU 0-0, NU 0-0. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, NU 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 0-0,
NU 0-0. Series Record: Series tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The Northwestern Wildcats will return home after a tough loss to
host their instate rival Illinois State Redbirds at Welsh-Ryan Arena in a
Illinois State is still searching for its first victory of the season after
suffering a lopsided, 96-58, loss to Shaka Smart's Virginia Commonwealth Rams
in its opener and falling, 78-70, to Drexel at home. The Redbirds are hoping
to avoid falling to 0-3 for the first time since 2002-03 when they began the
campaign with six consecutive losses. The team has not defeated the Wildcats
since coach Dan Muller was a player for Illinois State in 1996.
Coach Chris Collins saw his career record fall to 1-1 on Thursday when his
Wildcats were handed a 71-58 loss by the Stanford Cardinal in California.
The Wildcats have two main areas of concern after having their inside play and
aggression appear to be questionable versus their Pac-12 opponent. The
Cardinal outscored Northwestern, 26-16, in the paint and also, 18-6, at the
free-throw line in the contest.
The all-time series between Illinois State and Northwestern is tied after four
games. The Wildcats earned a 72-69 overtime decision when these Land of
Lincoln rivals squared off in the championship game of the South Padre Island
The Redbirds could not overcome VCU's havoc defense and hit on only 31.7
percent of their field goal attempts in their first appearance of the season.
They were not much better versus the Dragons, who limited them to only 32.3
percent shooting from the floor including a 5-of-20 clip from beyond the arc.
Five different players scored in double figures for ISU against Drexel with
Bobby Hunter scoring 14 points to lead the squad off the bench. Michael
Middlebrooks registered a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards while
John Jones tallied 12 points from the other forward slot. The starting
backcourt of Zach Lofton, Daishon Knight and Paris Lee combined to make only
8-of-35 shots from the field with Lofton accounting for 13 of the missed shots
in only 20 minutes of action. Lofton showed his ability to light it up at the
junior college level, but he has converted only 25 percent from the floor in
his first two games with ISU.
JerShonn Cobb had an excellent performance in the team's loss to the Cardinal,
finishing 6-of-10 from the field en route to a game-high 19 points. Drew
Crawford finished with 15 points and Tre Demps tallied 10 points. Crawford had
trouble getting shots to fall as he converted only 6-of-15 field goal tries,
but he was lights out in NU's season opener victory over Eastern Illinois with
25 points on 8-of-14 efficiency from the floor to go along with 11 rebounds.
The 6-foot-5 Cobb is not only a spot-up shooter, he has also been a playmaker
with 10 assists through two outings. The Wildcats will need more offensive
production from junior point guard Dave Sobolewski along with the starting
forward tandem of Sanjay Lumpkin and Alex Olah.
Collins, whose father Doug Collins is the most notable player in ISU history,
intended on turning the Wildcats into a defensive-minded team. NU could not
get stops against Stanford on Thursday, but it should be able to stifle the
Redbirds who are going to need more time before they will be able to reach
their full potential.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northwestern 70, Illinois State 61
11/17 10:35:12 ET
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