NCAA BK

Sun, Jan 12, 2014 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Illinois-Northwestern Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Illinois will try to bounce back from its most lopsided defeat in 11 seasons by getting past struggling in-state rival Northwestern.

The 23rd-ranked Illini haven't come out on top in most of their recent games against the Wildcats but will face a team that's dropped a season-high four in a row Sunday night.

After earning its first ranking of the season, Illinois missed 13 consecutive shots during a 20-0 run by No. 4 Wisconsin in the first half Wednesday and was never competitive after that in a 95-70 loss. The margin of defeat was the Illini's biggest since an 88-57 drubbing at Indiana on Jan. 26, 2002.

Leading scorer Rayvonte Rice (19) and Joseph Bertrand (18) were the only players to score more than eight points as the team overall shot a season-low 31.6 percent. Rice, who missed 14 of 21 shots, is averaging 22.8 points in his last four games, while Bertrand, who was 7 for 10, has reached double figures in a career-best four in a row.

Another bright spot for Illinois was a 25-5 edge on the offensive glass and a 48-35 overall rebounding margin.

"All in all, for me it's not about the statistics," coach John Groce said. "I didn't like how they responded to the 20-0 run there."

Illinois (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) had a four-game win streak snapped and will try to get back on track at Northwestern (7-9, 0-3). The Illini have dropped four of seven to the Wildcats but have won their last two in Evanston, including a 62-41 rout Feb. 17.

This time, they'll face a Northwestern team that's lost its first three conference games under coach Chris Collins by an average of 25.3 points. The Wildcats have scored 55.7 points per game on 37.4 percent shooting in those defeats while giving up an average of 81.0 on 54.8 percent shooting.

Northwestern allowed No. 20 Iowa to shoot 56.9 percent and was listless after falling behind 10-0 in a 93-67 road loss Thursday. JerShon Cobb led the Wildcats with 18 points after scoring a combined 14 in his prior three games, and leading scorer Drew Crawford (15.7 ppg) was the only other player in double figures with 12.

Crawford, a five-year starter, is set to face Illinois for the first time since scoring 13 points in a 74-70 road win on Feb. 5, 2012. He missed much of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

"It's going to be an exciting game," Crawford said. "I think the biggest thing is being ready for the atmosphere and the excitement in the building. We really have to be excited for this game and be ready for a 40-minute fight."

Illinois junior guard Tracy Abrams is the only returning player from either team to score in double figures in each of last season's two matchups. He had 13 points off the bench in the road win over Northwestern in February.

This game marks the only meeting between the schools this season.

Tagged: Northwestern, Illinois, Drew Crawford

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..