Michael Benson: January 2012 Archives

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

| | TrackBacks (0)
Six Huskie teams were in action over the past week with several big performances brought in by a variety of NIU athletes.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois lost both of their games during the week to drop to 2-17 on the year. On the road at Kent State Wednesday, the Huskies dropped a 90-56 game to the Golden Flashes. Keith Gray led Northern with 15 points on the night. On Saturday, NIU lost to Buffalo, 74-59, as Adbel Nader paced the Huskies with 11 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies won both of their games over the week and have now won three of their last four games. Wednesday saw NIU defeat Akron, 72-66, marking the first time since 2006 that they had won at UA. Claire Jakubicek led Northern with 18 points in the game. The cardinal & Black followed that up with a 66-55 win against the Kent State Golden Flashes, as Courtney Shelton tallied 23 points in the winning effort.

Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team blasted the competition on a record-setting Saturday at the IWU Invitational. The Huskies won 11 event titles on the day, including taking the top spot in every running event in which an NIU athlete competed. Northern also broke six meet, five track and two school records in the process.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois gymnasts Ashley Guerra and Megan Melendez recorded first and second place finishes on uneven parallel bars and balance beam, respectively, but the Huskie gymnastics team dropped a dual meet to visiting New Hampshire, 193.200-191.875 Saturday night at the NIU Convocation Center. Northern Illinois fell to 1-3 on the season while New Hampshire improved to 3-1.

Men's Tennis: The Northern Illinois men's tennis team opened its season flawlessly with a pair of wins over Division III power Wisconsin-Whitewater, 7-0, and Butler, 5-2. It is the first time the Huskies have opened the season 2-0 since at least 2004.

Women's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 on their season-opening weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, defeating South Dakota and SIU-Edwardsville to open their season. After falling to Drake in their first match Saturday, the Huskies came back and topped the Coyotes, 6-1. On Sunday, the team capped their weekend with a 4-3 win against SIUE.

NIU opens the month of February with six teams in action. Men's basketball hosts Ohio at the Convocation Center Wednesday night, while women's basketball welcomes the Bobcats to DeKalb on Saturday afternoon. Gymnastics wraps up their three-meet homestand Saturday in Victor E. Court against Ball State.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

| | TrackBacks (0)
With classes getting started again, the schedule did not lighten up for the Huskies, as five teams were in action during the past week.

Men's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two conference games to MAC West opponents during the week, as they lost to Toledo and Ball State. On Wednesday, NIU failed to get any momentum going against the Rockets in a 71-41 defeat on the road. Keith Gray and Stian Berg both led the Huskies with eight points in the loss. Northern returned home for a Saturday night showdown with Ball State, but it was the Cardinals who emerged with a 75-65 victory. Abdel Naber scored 26 points for NIU.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois split their two conference games during the week, breaking their six-game skid in the process. In a mid-week showdown in Kalamazoo, Mich., the Huskies got their first MAC win of the year, stifling Western Michigan's offense in a 53-41 Huskie win. On Sunday, the team welcomed Buffalo to the NIU Convocation Center. However, it was the Bulls who took a 62-46 win in divisional crossover play.

Wrestling: NIU saw their losing streak extend to three games over the weekend, as they dropped two critical MAC duals on the road. Facing defending conference champion Central Michigan Friday, Kevin Fanta, Matt Mougin and Mike Lukowski each won their respective matches, but it was the Chippewas who were on the winning end of a 24-9 decision. The Huskies faced off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Sunday, but lost by a 22-9 margin in Ypsilanti.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois claimed third place Saturday at the Illini Classic in Champaign, Ill., by scoring points in 14 of the 16 events. Courtney Oldenburg and Jenner Sio highlighted the Huskie performances, as Oldenburg placed second in the mile with a career-best time of 4:59.71 and Sio took second in the triple jump. NIU defeated SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, Lincoln (Mo.), Murray State and Bradley in the final team standings and were only outscored by Illinois and Missouri.

Gymnastics: NIU set a new season-high in total points, but it wasn't enough in a 194.575-193.350 defeat against Western Michigan in DeKalb. Megan Melendez won the balance beam, Tanya Rachan took top honors in the floor exercise and Kim Gotlund excelled in the all-around for NIU on the day.

Men's and women's tennis kick off their spring seasons this upcoming week, as the men host Butler and UW-Whitewater in Rockford and the women head to Des Moines, Iowa, to battle Drake, SIU-Edwardsville and South Dakota. Additionally, men's and women's basketball host their final doubleheader of the season Saturday, while gymnastics hosts New Hampshire Saturday night.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

| | TrackBacks (0)
The Huskies continued their busy January, as five teams were in action in the final week of winter break.

Men's Basketball: The Huskies split their two games during the week, falling at Western Michigan and defeating Central Michigan Saturday in DeKalb. On Wednesday, the Huskies pushed the Broncos to the brink, but were unable to stop WMU in the end, falling 77-68 in Kalamazoo. They rebounded in a big way on Saturday, though, as they knocked off CMU, 74-66, behind Abdel Nader's 22-point performance.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois' losing streak reached six games during the week, as they dropped close games to Ball State and Toledo. After trailing by 12 at halftime Wednesday in Muncie, Ind., the Huskies came from behind to take the lead, but were unable to hold off the Cardinals in a 50-43 defeat. Saturday saw a heart-wrenching loss to MAC West favorite Toledo, who topped NIU, 49-47, in a last-second shot.

Wrestling: The Huskies fell to 0-2 in MAC action Friday, as they dropped a 27-6 decision to the Ohio Bobcats in Athens. Kevin Fanta and Mike Lukowski both recorded wins for NIU, but the Bobcats' five-straight wins from 149 through 184 doomed the Huskies.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois took two event titles and 15 top-five finishes Saturday at the Illini Open in Champaign, Ill. Rebecca Cronin won the 600 meters with a career-best time of 1:35.67, while Courtney Oldenburg took the 3000 meters in her 2011-12 debut, clocking in at 10:24.77. In addition, Rasheta Butler and Sidra Sherrill both earned multiple top-five finishes.

Gymnastics: Head coach Sam Morreale earned his first career win as a head coach Friday night with the Huskies' 190.350-190.100 win against Southeast Missouri State. Trailing after two rotations, NIU recorded strong performances in the floor exercise and balance beam to overcome the Redhawks. The victory evens the Huskies' record at 1-1 on the year.

Those same five teams will also be competing this week. The highlights include men's basketball facing Ball State Saturday at 7 p.m. and a two-sport dip Sunday, as gymnastics competes against Western Michigan at 2 p.m. in Victor E. Court and women's basketball takes on Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

| | TrackBacks (0)
The first week of 2012 was a busy one for Huskie athletics, with six teams competing. Among the highlights were football's GoDaddy.com Bowl victory, wrestling's dramatic come-from-behind win against Lock Haven and track & field's record-setting weekend in Kansas.

Football: The 2011-12 season ended on a positive note for the Huskies, who defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves Sunday in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, 38-20. Quarterback Chandler Harnish was named the game's MVP after passing for 274 yards and two touchdowns, while Martel Moore caught eight passes for 224 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Meanwhile, the Huskie defense forced five ASU turnovers and collected three sacks in the game.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois hung tough with Eastern Michigan in both schools' MAC openers, but it was the Eagles who came away with a 47-40 win in DeKalb. Tim Toler led the Huskies with 11 points in the game, while Zach Miller added nine points and four assists in the game.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies had a rough opening to their conference season this week, as they dropped their first two games of the MAC slate. On Thursday, NIU was unable to contain Central Michigan's offense in an 86-67 loss to the Chippewas. Satavia Taylor led the Huskies with 17 points in the game. The Huskies' struggles continued Sunday in Ypsilanti, Mich., where they were bested by the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 64-52.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois opened up the second half of their season Sunday with a thrilling 22-16 win against the Lock Haven Bald Eagles. Trailing 16-3 at the halfway point of the dual, the Huskies stormed back, winning the final five matches to stun LHU. The victory gives NIU six on the season, surpassing their total from all of last year.

Track & Field: The Huskies kicked off 2012 with an impressive performance Saturday at the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kan. Jamie Burr highlighted the day, winning the 1000m run with a school record time of 2:59.50. Additionally, Roneisha Frye (60m hurdles) and Rebecca Cronin (600 yards) also won their respective events to lead the Huskies.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 season Sunday in DeKalb, where they lost to the UIC Flames, 191.575-188.350. Sonda Clore led the Huskies with a win in the uneven bars, while taking top five finishes in the beam and vault. Also, Tanya Rachan won the beam and floor routine.

The Huskies will be on the road for most of the upcoming week, with Saturday's basketball doubleheader being the only event in DeKalb. Wrestling, track & field and gymnastics also hit the road this weekend for competition.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

| | TrackBacks (0)
Three sports - men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling - had a busy holiday schedule, with each team competing on multiple days over that timeframe.

Men's Basketball: The Huskies split their two games during the two week stretch, as Mark Montgomery earned his first win as a head coach. After dropping a close 59-48 decision against Valparaiso on Dec. 20, the Huskies got their first win of the year with a 72-46 drubbing of Roosevelt. In the second half alone, NIU held the Lakers to 7.4 percent shooting.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois went 1-2 over the last two weeks as they wrapped up their non-conference schedule. The Huskies got their holidays off to a good start Dec. 22 when they upended Indiana State, 47-43, in a defensive struggle. Yet, NIU dropped both of their end-of-the-year road games, falling 72-62 at Eastern Illinois and 65-46 at No. 19 DePaul.

Wrestling: The Huskies concluded 2011 with two big meets within the Land of Lincoln. On Dec. 21, NIU defeated Cleveland State and Cumberland, but lost to Kent State in the MAC opener at the NIU Quad Meet. The next week, NIU took 26th place at the nationally-renowned Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill., where Rob Jillard led the Huskies with a 4-2 record at 133.

NIU Athletics gets back into full gear this week with six different teams competing. Among the highlights include the GoDaddy.com Bowl, where the Huskies will face off against the Arkansas State Red Wolves in Mobile, Ala. Additionally, women's basketball hosts Central Michigan Thursday at 7 p.m. and men's basketball hosts Eastern Michigan Saturday at 3 p.m., while wrestling and gymnastics collaborate in the inaugural NIU Beauty and the Beast Meet Sunday at 2 p.m.