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Northwestern-SIU Edwardsville GameThread

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Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern looks to improve on its 6-1 start to the season with a win over Southern Illinois Edwardsville in a Saturday matinee at Welsh-Ryan Arena at 2 p.m. The Wildcats just finished their toughest stretch of the non-conference season with wins over Columbia, Missouri, New Orleans and Virginia Tech, with its lone loss coming to North Carolina on Nov. 23. From here, the Wildcats will only leave Evanston once before the start of the Big Ten season on Dec. 30. That lone road game is against nearby DePaul.

SIU Edwardsville comes into Evanston having lost six games in a row. After beating Arkansas State by nine to open the year, the Cougars have yet to eclipse 75 points in a game, averaging under 66 points per contest in their losses. The team is led by the inside-out duo of center Grant Fiorentinos of South Africa and guard Burak Eslik from Turkey. Both players average 13 points per game.

The Wildcats have been lead all year by their fantastic guard combination. Sophomore Bryant McIntosh has continued his torrid start to the season, averaging 17.6 points and almost six assists per contest. He is shooting 53.6 percent from three-point range this year, making an average of 2.1 per game. Alongside McIntosh is senior Tre Demps, averaging 16.1 points per game. Demps, though, isn't shooting nearly as well as expected from three, hitting on just 29.5 percent of his attempts.

Kenpom gives Northwestern a 96-percent chance to win and coverage information is listed here. Take a break from watching the NCAA football conference championship games and come watch some roundball with us.