While most Northwestern students were sleeping with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads (and escaping the bitter cold of Chicago), the basketball teams’ seasons’ were just heating up. If you were too busy filling up on holiday cookies to notice these headlines coming out of Welsh-Ryan, NBN Sports has you covered.
• Fifth-year senior Drew Crawford notched 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State while showing no rust after an eight-day post-final exams break between games. Northwestern won 86-64 behind Crawford’s season-high scoring performance.
• DePaul and Northwestern's Dec. 27 tilt was the basketball equivalent of this season’s Nebraska game for the football team. The Wildcats led 56-55 after a Dave Sobolewski triple before DePaul's Billy Garrett, Jr. made a layup as time expired and the Blue Demons escaped with a one-point win. In other words, it was the quintessential Northwestern sporting event.
• In the first half of the Wildcats' opening Big Ten game, the team was outscored 40-14 at home by the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 2. To add injury to insult, forward Nikola Cerina left the game with an apparent leg issue. The only bright spot in the depressing contest was Alex Olah, who had 23 points and six boards on 10-of-14 shooting. The ‘Cats would eventually fall to Wisconsin, 76-49.
• The Wildcats are averaging 65.4 points per game and shooting just 40.9 percent from the field, and that's against primarily non-conference competition.
• The team went 4-2 and their two losses over the break were by a combined four points.
• In their four wins, their average margin of victory was just over 25 points.
• In those seven games, freshman sensation Nia Coffey averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds.
• Freshman guard Christen Inman erupted for 27 points to lead Northwestern to a 73-46 victory over Northeastern on Dec. 29.
• Freshman guard Ashley Deary is second in the Big Ten with 6.6 assists per game, dishing out eight against Northeastern.
• ‘Cats opponents are shooting just 33.8 percent from the field, which gives them the best field goal percentage defense in the conference.