Northwestern has turned things around with a three game winning streak after an 10 game losing streak. They will try for four when Indiana invades Welsh-Ryan arena Wednesday night.
Indiana hold a 50-13 edge all-time, but Northwestern has had the upper hand over the last six years. The Wildcats have won seven of the last 11 meetings over the last six seasons.
Like much of their success last season, Northwestern has used their defense during the three game winning streak. In wins against Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State, NU has allowed 166 points (a 56.6 average)
Freshman point guard Bryant McIntosh, backcourt mate Tre’ Demps, and Center Alex Olah have led the way. McIntosh’s classmate Vic Law was named the Big Ten freshman of the week after the wins over Penn State and Minnesota.
McIntosh only scored five against Penn St, but had eight assists. Demps has really stepped up over the last four games. He is averaging 15.75 PPG, 3.7 APG is shooting 52.3% from the floor, is 10-19 from three point range.
Law who was the highest rated recruit in NU’s class. He had the best game of his freshman season in the win over Penn State. Law finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, shot 7-12 from the floor 3-5 on threes and had two steals and block. If they can get him going, they might be able to finish strong enough to get an NIT or CBI berth.
Alex Olah has also been more consistent during the winning streak. Olah has reached double figures in each of those three games, is averaging 8.7 RPG and 3,0 BPG.
Indiana has been very inconsistent over the last month. IU has not won two in a row since a four game winning streak in January. They have only lost two in a row once in the same time span. They have alternated wins and losses over the last eight games.
Northwestern will have to slow the game down in order to win. IU’s 79.2 PPG average ranks 13th nationally and they 47.9 percent from the floor which is 20th nationally. They also shoot 41.2 percent from the floor which is third in the country and first in the Big Ten. Four IU players have attempted over 100 third point shots and reserve Colin Hartman has made 26 out of his 52 three point attempts.
The backcourt of Yogi Farrell and freshman guard James Blackmon jr. lead the way with forward Troy Williams. Ferrell averages 16.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 5.0 APG. His assist to turnover ratio is better than 2.5 to 1.
Blackmon has had an outstanding freshman season. He is averaging 16.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG, while shooting over 82 percent from the floor. IU comes to Northwestern off a 85-54 thumping of Rutgers on the road. That broke a four game road losing streak for the Hoosiers.
Northwestern and Indiana Tipoff at 6pm CT on the Big Ten Network.