By Paul M. Banks
The Wildcats broke Big Ten records for made 3-pointers and 3-point attempts in a game with 20 and 47, respectively.
Northwestern extends its winning streak to six games and improves to 7-1 on the season, the first time in school history the team has started 7-1 in back-to-back years.
Drew Crawford named conference player of the week.
Northwestern University’s offensive system in football is the spread-option, a mode of attack centered around spreading out the opposing defense, making sure they have to cover every aspect of the field by creating additional space between each one-on-one matchup. In basketball, their offensive set, the Princeton system is creating a ton of wide open spaces for their perimeter shooters to get, and hit open looks. And if they continue to put up numbers like they did yesterday, opposing defenses will have to spread numerous players out behind the arc.
Led by Freshman wing Drew Crawford and his career high 35 points, NU finished 20-47 from long range. Crawford, a Naperville Central alum (yes, they’re probably in high spirits on Rt. 59 today) came in with 40 career points (22 in the game vs. Liberty) but finished a blistering 8-13 from distance. Crawford’s 35 points set a Northwestern freshman record.
“People are expecting a lot of him because he’s a local product. I’ve seen it in practice different times. He had one good game early where he did the same thing, knocked down five threes. It’s going to come. Eight games, that’s not so bad. I don’t think he’s played poorly, I just think that we have some other guys out there too. It’s great when a guy like (John) Shurna didn’t make any shots tonight and Drew comes through. It’s a team game. When one guy isn’t doing too well, another can come through,” Coach Bill Carmody said about Crawford. His eight triples were one shy of the Northwestern’s individual single-game record, he also contributed five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots without committing a turnover in 25 minutes of action.
Juice Thompson chipped in five 3-pointers to NU’s long-range effort, tying a career-high. Northwestern finished the game shooting 44.4 percent from the field overall.
The team’s 20 3-point makes bested the previous conference mark of 18 set by Ohio State against LSU Jan. 15, 2005, while the 47 attempts topped Michigan’s total of 42 against Florida Gulf Coast Dec. 22, 2008.
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