Recently in Men's Basketball Category

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Baseball: The Huskies had a rough go of things at the Fuddruckers Lobo Invite. On Friday, February 21, they nearly beat Missouri State after being down 8-0, but NIU came up just short and lost 9-8. Later that day, against New Mexico, the team fell in a 12-0 defeat. On Saturday, February 22, the Huskies lost once more to Missouri State, 11-0 being the final this time. On Sunday, February 23, NIU and New Mexico tied 3-3 after 10 innings of play. 

Softball: The Huskies went 3-1 last weekend at the Disney Diamond 9 Citrus Classic to improve their record to 5-4 this year. On Friday, they took down Fairfield, 7-3, and IPFW, 4-0. The lone loss of the event came against Albany on Saturday, 3-1. On Sunday, NIU bounced back to defeat Delaware, 2-1 

Women's Basketball: On Wednesday, February 19, the Huskies fell at Akron, 89-75. They followed up that performance with an 85-77 loss at home against Central Michigan Saturday. On the following Thursday however, NIU snapped its six-game losing streak with a 68-59 overtime victory against Toledo. NIU is 9-16 on the season. 

Wrestling: NIU ended the regular season on a high note at Buffalo. Against the Bulls, the Huskies were able to come back from being down 11-0 in the match to win 20-14. The Huskies ended the regular season with a 7-11 record and a 2-6 conference record. They will next play at the MAC Championships on Saturday, March 8. 

Gymnastics: On Friday, NIU placed third in the State of Illinois Classic in Normal, Ill. with a team score of 193.625. The following Sunday, the Huskies fell at Bowling Green, 194.825-193.075. Next up for the team is Senior Day. On Sunday, March 2, the Huskies will host Central Michigan for a meet at 2:00 p.m.

Women's Golf: NIU golfers performed well as they took sixth in the Islander Classic on on Tuesday, February 25. The team shot a 299 on the final day of the tournament, the third lowest team total in the history of the program.

Track & Field: As a final tuneup for the MAC Indoor Championships, the Huskies competed at the Ball State Quadrangular. They took third in the event. The indoor championships will run on both February 28 and March 1. 

Men's Basketball: Thursday, February 20 against Eastern Michigan, the Huskies took an intense double overtime game over Eastern Michigan, 61-59. The following Sunday, the team took a tight 70-67 defeat at Central Michigan. The Huskies bounced back with a win against the then top team in the MAC, Toledo, 74-66. The Huskies are 13-14 this season. 

Men's Tennis: NIU improved to 10-3 on the season with three wins in recent memory.  On Thursday, the Huskies dropped Butler, 7-0. On Saturday, they took both of their matches, playing against Western Illinois and Dayton, 7-0 and 4-0 respectively 

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Men's Tennis: The Huskies went 3-0 last weekend after defeating Detroit, UW-Whitewater, and Southern Illinois. They outscored opponents 20-1 on the weekend. The three wins extended the team's winning streak to five matches. NIU has a home match on Friday, February 7 against SIU-Edwardsville and a road match on Sunday, February 9 at Indiana. 

Women's Tennis: NIU suffered its first defeat of the season on Sunday, February 2 in a road match at Wisconsin. The Huskies lost the match, 5-2. NIU is 1-1 on the young season. On Friday, February 7, the Huskies play SIU-Edardsville at home. On the following Saturday, they'll remain at home to take on Cleveland State. 

Men's Basketball: The Huskies have put together a nice three-game winning streak over the last week plus, bringing their current record to 10-11. On Wednesday, January 29, the Huskies edged Kent State, 50-49. On the following Saturday, they pulled off an overtime victory at Ball State, 67-65. On Tuesday, February 4, NIU bested Miami (Ohio), 53-41 

Women's Basketball: The Huskies went 1-2 over the last week plus, giving them an 8-12 overall record thus far. Against Kent State on Wednesday, January 29, NIU won 65-43. The following Saturday, the Huskies fell at Western Michigan, 56-43. At home against Akron on Wednesday, February 5, the Huskies lost 71-67

Wrestling: Northern Illinois saw its record drop to 6-9 with a 23-12 loss at Old Dominion on Friday, January 31. The Huskies are set to take on Kent State at home on Saturday, February 8. 

Gymnastics: NIU's gymnastics team improved its record to 2-1 (2-0 MAC) with a 192.450-191.600 win against Western Michigan on Saturday, February 1. The Huskies are on the road for a meet at Kent State on Friday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m.

Women's Golf: NIU defeated Ohio, 4-1, but lost to Bowling Green, 3-1 o the first day of MAC Match play on Monday, February 3. On Tuesday, the Huskies bested Cleveland State, 3.5-1.5.

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Men's Tennis: The Huskies took on No. 30 Drake on Friday, losing 4-3. The Huskies started off strong in this one, claiming the doubles point for an early 1-0 edge. The rest of the match was back-and-forth battle, resulting in NIU falling just short. The Huskies will host a doubleheader on Friday against IPFW and Chicago State. 

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois has played three games over the last week, dropping them all. On Wednesday, January 15, the Huskies took on Kent State. The game went to overtime, the first of its kind of the 2013-14 season, but NIU fell 73-64. On Saturday, January 18, NIU faced Ohio. This one ended 65-46 in favor of Ohio. On Wednesday, January 22, The Huskies travelled to Toledo, dropping the affair 70-68. NIU is now 7-10 on the season. 

Women's Basketball: The Huskies have gone 1-2 in three games recently, bringing their record to 7-9 on the season. On Wednesday, January 15 against Michigan, NIU fell 65-60. That following Saturday, the Huskies bested Miami (Ohio), 69-66. On Thursday, January 23, NIU fell to Buffalo, 63-52

Track & Field: NIU travelled to its first event of the new year, the Illini Classic. The Huskies finished third at the event overall out of 10 teams. Next up for the Huskies is the Wisconsin Elite Invitational, held in Madison, Wis. on Saturday, January 25. 

Wrestling: The Huskies have gone 2-1 in recent duals, improving their record to 6-7 on the season overall. On Friday, January 17 at Eastern Michigan, NIU won 24-9. On the following Sunday, January 19, the Huskies were at the Wendy's Duals. They won the first 36-6, but dropped the second 26-11.

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Football: The Huskies traveled to San Diego, Calif. for the Poinsettia Bowl to take on Utah State on December 26. NIU took its second loss of the season in the game, falling 21-14. Overall, the Huskies went 12-2 with a flawless 5-0 record at home. 

Men's Basketball: NIU produced a 3-3 record through six games over the last couple weeks to move to 6-7 on the season. NIU traveled to the east coast to face the then No. 22 UMass. With a short roster, the Huskies fell 80-64. On Wednesday, December 18, they won against Loyola, 55-49. Following the win, they beat UC Riverside on the road, 71-64 on December 22. NIU went to Iowa State on New Years Eve, losing the evening game 99-63. The Huskies proceeded to bounce back with a 65-51 victory at home against Bethune Cookman. On Wednesday, January 8, NIU fell to Buffalo, 67-46

Women's Basketball: After a near two week break from the game, the Huskies traveled to South Dakota State, falling 67-50 in the affair on Tuesday, December 17. On Saturday, December 21, NIU lost a tough match against Northern Iowa in a 66-64 final. On New Years Eve, the Huskies lost a third in a row, this time to Illinois-Chicago by a score of 66-54. In the first game of the new year, on Saturday, January 4, NIU ended the short losing streak with a win at home against Ohio, 74-51. The Huskies are now 5-6 on the season. 

Wrestling: NIU had three events over the last few weeks. To start, the Huskies faced Central Michigan, losing 25-6 in the meet. To end 2013, NIU attended the Midlands Championships on Evanston, Ill. Overall, the Huskies finished 17th out of 47 participating teams. Tyler Argue took eighth place in the 141 pound weight class. On Saturday, January 4, NIU bested SIU Edwardsville to improve to 4-5 on the season, beating the Cougars 33-15. 

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Football: The Huskies took on Bowling Green in the MAC Championship game on Friday. NIU suffered its first loss of the season in the game, losing 47-27. With that, the Huskies fell to 12-1 on the season. On the brighter side of things, the team's bowl game was announced. NIU will face Utah State in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 26.

Men's Basketball: NIU grabbed its third win of the season last Thursday, winning 64-57 against Dartmouth. At one point in the game, the Huskies went on a 21-0 run, propelling the team to a first half 11-point lead. NIU stands at 3-4 on the season. The Huskies will face Massachusetts on Saturday, December 14.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois was at Illinois State on Thursday, taking on the Redbirds. It was a tight game, and the Huskies won 57-52. It was the first win for the Huskies at Illinois State since 2002. With the win, the team improved to 4-3 on the season. 

Wrestling: The Huskies battled against Cleveland State on Thursday, winning 25-6. NIU was dominant from start to finish, losing only two matches in the entire meet. The 25 team points were built on seven wins by decision and one win by major decision. NIU is now 3-4 this season.

Track & Field: NIU attended the Laker Early Bird on Friday. Several Huskies finished in the top five of their events, and Rebecca Cronin ended up setting a new NIU record in the indoor 600 meter run. Her time of 1:33.35 bested former Huskie Lorene Skipper's mark of 1:35.13, set back in 2004. 

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Football: The Huskies traveled to Toledo for their 11th game of the season on Wednesday, November 20. The team had 364 rushing yards overall, getting 6.6 yards per carry. NIU scored 28 points in the second half to propel the team to a 35-17 victory, remaining undefeated on the year. On Tuesday, November 26, the Huskies played the WMU Broncos, winning 33-14 to stay unbeaten at 12-0. Jordan Lynch ran for 321 yards, breaking his own record for rushing yards by an FBS quarterback in a single game. 

Volleyball: NIU played its final games of the season at the MAC Championship Tournament, making it to the semi-finals before exiting. On Friday, the Huskies beat Bowling Green 3-1 to stay alive. However, on Saturday, they didn't have enough to be Ohio, losing 3-0 in the affair. The Huskies ended their season with a 17-13 record. 

Wrestling: The Huskies hosted the Northern Duals last weekend, but they dropped both of the matches. The first was against Northern Iowa, a 32-6 defeat for the home wrestlers. In the second match, NIU battled North Dakota State. It came down to the heavyweight match, and the Huskies were barely edged there, losing 21-16 overall. 

Men's Basketball: The Huskies improved to 2-3 on the young season with a win vs. St. Joseph's (Ind.) on Sunday. NIU eclipsed 100 points in a game for the first time this season, winning 111-61. Four Huskies recorded double digit figures in scoring. Darrell Bowie produced the first double-double of his career with 23 points and 12 rebounds. 

Women's Basketball: NIU edged out Bradley Thursday, 63-60 to get to 2-2 on the season. The Huskies out-rebounded the Braves 45-43 in the game. NIU was able to force 12 turnovers to frustrate the opposing Brave offense. Amanda Corral led the team in scoring with 17 points. 

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Volleyball: NIU came away with two wins after touring Michigan to end its road schedule of the regular season. The Huskies won both matches. The first was against Central Michigan on Friday, a match in which NIU swept (3-0) the opposing Chippewas. On Saturday, the Huskies took on Eastern Michigan, winning 3-1. NIU is 17-11 on the season with a 9-5 record in the MAC.

Men's Soccer: The Huskies saw their season come to a close after the final game on Saturday. Playing Buffalo at home, the teams ended the match in a 3-3 draw. This was the first and only tie of the season for NIU. The Huskies ended the season with a 4-13-1 overall record. 

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois' men's basketball team started the season at home against Nebraska-Omaha on Friday, but the team fell in the affair, 68-66. NIU will be hosting an invitational event over the weekend of November 15 to November 17, playing three games over that span. 

Cross Country: The Huskies had their final event at the NIU North 40 this season. The Huskie open was held on Friday, where runners from other universities and the local area were allowed to compete. The results can be found here

Women's Basketball: The Huskies split two games over the week. On the road at Green Bay on Friday, the team had trouble scoring, losing 78-44. At home on Tuesday against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskies rebounded and won 79-60. NIU next plays on Sunday, November 17 at Wisconsin. 

Wrestling: The Huskies traveled to the Michigan State University Open on Saturday. Five Huskies placed in the event, including Nick HarrisonAndrew MorseJordan Northrup, and Tyler Argue. NIU will be at the EMU duals on Saturday, November 16, taking on several teams. 

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Women's Basketball: NIU played a preseason game at home against Lewis, taking a win in the exhibition, 76-72. The Huskies will begin their regular season schedule on Friday, November 8 at Green Bay. They'll face the Phoenix in a game set to begin at 7 p.m.

Men's Soccer: The Huskies have played three games over the week. At home, against Milwaukee on Wednesday, October 30, NIU dropped in a 1-0 final. On the following Saturday at Hartwick, NIU went to  overtime against the opposing Hawks, but ended up falling 2-1. Then, on Tuesday, October 5 against Western Michigan, the Huskies fell 2-1 once more. 

Football: The Huskies traveled to the east coast for another MAC affair against the UMass Minutemen. The team improved to 9-0 with a 5-0 conference record as they won 63-19. The 19 points was the second lowest figure that the Huskie defense had held opponents to all season in a single game. 

Women's Soccer: NIU saw its season come to a close with the games over the last week. On Thursday, the Huskies took on Toledo, dropping the rainy affair 2-1. On Sunday, they traveled to Miami (Ohio) for the first round of the MAC Championship Tournament, losing the match 3-0. The Huskies finished the season 6-11-3.

Men's Basketball: NIU played a preseason game against Rockford on Saturday, winning 90-57. The regular season begins on Friday, November 8 against Nebraska Omaha at home. The Huskies will begin with five straight home games, as the team will not travel until November 30 to take on Nebraska. 

Wrestling: Nine Huskie wrestlers placed at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. on Sunday. Shawn Scott and Jordan Northrup had the best finishes of any Huskie, both taking second in their respective weight class. Next for wrestling is the MSU Open, which will is scheduled for Saturday, November 9.

Cross Country: NIU participated in the MAC Championship Race, finishing 11th overall. Meghan Heuer had the best finish of all Huskie competitors, taking 37th place. On Friday, November 8, the Huskies have their last home event of the cross country season, the Huskie Open. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the NIU North 40. 

Volleyball: The Huskies had two games in the MAC over the last week, winning them both. On Thursday, NIU took on Western Michigan, winning 3-1. On the following Saturday, the Huskies faced Miami (Ohio) and beat the Redhawks, 3-1. NIU is now 15-11 on the season with a 7-5 conference record.

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Women's Basketball: NIU played a preseason game at home against Lewis, taking a win in the exhibition, 76-72. The Huskies will begin their regular season schedule on Friday, November 8 at Green Bay. They'll face the Phoenix in a game set to begin at 7 p.m.

Men's Soccer: The Huskies have played three games over the week. At home, against Milwaukee on Wednesday, October 30, NIU dropped in a 1-0 final. On the following Saturday at Hartwick, NIU went to  overtime against the opposing Hawks, but ended up falling 2-1. Then, on Tuesday, October 5 against Western Michigan, the Huskies fell 2-1 once more. 

Football: The Huskies traveled to the east coast for another MAC affair against the UMass Minutemen. The team improved to 9-0 with a 5-0 conference record as they won 63-19. The 19 points was the second lowest figure that the Huskie defense had held opponents to all season in a single game. 

Women's Soccer: NIU saw its season come to a close with the games over the last week. On Thursday, the Huskies took on Toledo, dropping the rainy affair 2-1. On Sunday, they traveled to Miami (Ohio) for the first round of the MAC Championship Tournament, losing the match 3-0. The Huskies finished the season 6-11-3.

Men's Basketball: NIU played a preseason game against Rockford on Saturday, winning 90-57. The regular season begins on Friday, November 8 against Nebraska Omaha at home. The Huskies will begin with five straight home games, as the team will not travel until November 30 to take on Nebraska. 

Wrestling: Nine Huskie wrestlers placed at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. on Sunday. Shawn Scott and Jordan Northrup had the best finishes of any Huskie, both taking second in their respective weight class. Next for wrestling is the MSU Open, which will is scheduled for Saturday, November 9.

Cross Country: NIU participated in the MAC Championship Race, finishing 11th overall. Meghan Heuer had the best finish of all Huskie competitors, taking 37th place. On Friday, November 8, the Huskies have their last home event of the cross country season, the Huskie Open. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the NIU North 40. 

Volleyball: The Huskies had two games in the MAC over the last week, winning them both. On Thursday, NIU took on Western Michigan, winning 3-1. On the following Saturday, the Huskies faced Miami (Ohio) and beat the Redhawks, 3-1. NIU is now 15-11 on the season with a 7-5 conference record.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois' 2012-13 season came to a close Monday night with a tight 45-44 loss at Eastern Michigan. Aksel Bolin and J.J. Cravatta each scored nine points to pace the Huskies.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois wrapped up their regular season with a fourth place finish at the State of Illinois Classic. Amanda Stepp earned all-state honors at the meet.

Baseball: The Huskies played five games over spring break in the Mid-South. NIU split a midweek series with Murray State, topping the Thoroughbreds Wednesday, 8-4, to avenge a 7-1 loss the day prior. The team went 1-2 at the Music City Tournament in Nashville, falling to Belmont by a 4-3 margin on Friday and Lipscomb 12-8 on Saturday. They did end the tournament on a high note, though, with an 8-2 win against Belmont.

Softball: NIU went 4-5 in their spring break swing to southern California. On Tuesday, the Huskies split a doubleheader with Cal State-Northridge. The next day, NIU dropped contests against North Dakota State and Loyola Marymount. On the first day of the Highlander Classic in Riverside, Northern fell to Notre Dame in extras and beat host UC-Riverside. Saturday, the Huskies defeated Iona and lost to ND before ending the trip with a win against UCR on the final day.

Track & Field: The Huskies kicked off their outdoor season Friday in Tampa, Fla., with several quality performances. Meghan Heuer won the 1500 meters, while 10 different individuals combined for 14 top 10 finishes.

Men's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 on their spring break trip to central Florida. The trip started with a 5-2 loss to Stetson. However, the Huskies rebounded with a 4-3 win over Appalachian State and a 4-2 triumph against Army.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies earned two wins on their spring break trip to Kansas City. On Tuesday, NIU defeated UMKC, 6-1. They would follow that up with a 7-0 sweep of Emporia State.

Men's Golf: Northern Illinois placed 17th at the Mission in Spring Spectacular in Howey in the Hills, Fla. Kurtis Luedtke paced the Huskies with a +13, 229 in the tournament to tie for 47th.

Women's Golf: The Huskies took sixth at Bucknell's Lady Bison Spring Classic in Las Vegas. Jennie Niemiec led NIU with a 15th place finish.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois closed out their 2012-13 home schedule during the week. On Wednesday, the Huskies dropped a 53-41 loss to Eastern Michigan. Three days later on Senior Night, Central Michigan spoiled the celebration with a 69-50 decision.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies wrapped up their home slate with a pair of games against Michigan foes. Thursday night saw NIU fall to Eastern Michigan, 54-45. On Senior Day Sunday afternoon, Northern lost to Central Michigan, 82-61.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois dominated their Senior Night showdown with Eastern Michigan, winning 194.775-192.550. Megan Melendez, Jaelyn Olson, Kim Gotlund and Natalie Sutter all won individual honors on the night.

Baseball: Northern Illinois went 1-2 at Minnesota's Dairy Queen Classic with all three contests coming down to the last inning. In Friday's tournament lid-lifter, the Huskies fell to Utah, 6-1. On Saturday afternoon, NIU and Dartmouth were locked in a pitchers' duel, but it was the Big Green who came away with a 1-0 win. In the tournament finale, Alex Klonowski's complete game two-hitter lifted the Huskies to a 2-1 win over the host Golden Gophers.

Softball: NIU split their Sunday doubleheader in Carbondale, Ill., as part of Southern Illinois' Coach B Classic. In the first game, the Huskies squeaked out a 3-2 win against Butler, but lost in extras to Saint Louis in the second game.

Men's Tennis: NIU split their two road contests in Indianapolis over the weekend. On Saturday, Butler bested the Huskies in a 5-2 loss. Northern rebounded with a 5-2 win against IUPUI Sunday.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies pushed their winning streak to nine in Des Moines, Iowa, with three wins. On Saturday, the Huskies swept Nebraska Omaha, 7-0, and topped Drake, 4-3. On Sunday, NIU handed Central Arkansas a 6-1 loss.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped their lone game of the week Saturday in a 59-47 loss against Eastern Illinois in the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies lost a pair of MAC West road games over the last week. On Wednesday morning, NIU  was handed a 72-40 loss from MAC-leading Toledo. Three days later, Northern fell to Ball State, 64-54.

Wrestling: The Huskies ended their regular season on a high note, defeating Gardner-Webb, 22-12, and Cleveland State, 26-11. Nick Smith, Rob Jillard, Andrew Morse and Parker Settecase each won both of their matches on the day.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted eight 9.8 scores against No. 21 Kent State Saturday, but it was not enough in a 195.800-194.350 loss to the Golden Flashes.

Track & Field: NIU finished 10th at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in Ypsilanti, Mich. Janay Mitchell led the way with a second place finish in the 60 meters, while Jamie Burr and Megan Gregory earned sixth place finishes in the 800 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively.

Baseball: Northern Illinois went 1-3 in a four-game set with Nevada out in Reno. The Huskies' late rally on Friday came short in a 7-3 Wolfpack win. The two squads split a doubleheader Saturday, as NIU won, 12-4, prior to Nevada's 13-0 triumph in the first game. The series finale went the way of the Wolfpack in a tight 3-2 decision.

Softball: NIU went 2-3 at Florida Atlantic's Strike-Out Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. On Friday, the Huskies split their two games, beating North Florida in extras, 4-2, and losing to Providence, 13-7. Northern was swept on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Towson and a 1-0 loss to Connecticut. However, the tournament ended positively with a 7-3 win against host FAU.

Men's Tennis: NIU split a pair of Saturday contests at home. In the first match, the Huskies swept Western Illinois, 7-0, before falling to the Green Bay Phoenix, 4-1.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies easily defeated in-state rival Chicago State, sweeping the Cougars, 7-0.

Men's Golf: The Huskies took second place Saturday at the 36-hole Forest Hills Collegiate. Bryce Emory paced NIU with a fifth place showing.

Women's Golf: NIU kicked off their spring season in Daytona Beach with a second place finish at the Gary Freeman BCU Spring Invitational. Alllie Parthie and Taylor Ellett both earned top 10 showings by placing second and sixth, respectively.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois lost two tight MAC West contests during the week. At home on Wednesday, the Huskies lost in a 56-52 decision to Ball State despite Antoine Christian's season-high 14 points. Saturday evening, NIU let an eight-point lead late in the game slip away in a 66-58 loss at Western Michigan.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped their lone game of the week, a 60-49 defeat at the hands of Bowling Green. Amanda Corral paced the NIU offense with 12 points.

Wrestling: The Huskies capped their MAC slate on a positive note, defeating Buffalo, 20-18. Nick Smith, Rob Jillard, Andrew Morse and Matt Mougin got wins for NIU early before Jared Torrence won the meet with an overtime decision at heavyweight.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois recorded a season-best score for the second consecutive meet, but it was not enough in a 195.175-194.375 loss at Iowa State. Kim Gotlund posted career-best scores on the balance beam and uneven bars.

Track & Field: NIU earned three event titles Friday at the Ball State Quadrangular en route to a second place team finish. Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory won the 60 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively, while Meghan Heuer captured her first event title at NIU with a win in the 3000 meters.

Baseball: Northern Illinois opened their season at Texas Tech's Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. The weekend opened with an 8-0 loss against the host Red Raiders. On Saturday, the Huskies used a late rally against BYU, but fell short in a 5-3 defeat. Sunday's twinbill saw NIU drop games against Northern Colorado, 3-2, and TTU, 13-0.

Women's Tennis: NIU grabbed three wins during a weekend swing in Indianapolis. The Huskies defeated IUPUI Friday, 6-1, Indianapolis Saturday, 7-0, and Butler Sunday, 6-1.

Men's Golf: NIU opened their spring season Monday and Tuesday with a fourth place finish at the MAC Match Play in Dade City, Fla. After upsetting second-seeded Akron in the first round, the Huskies lost to eventual champion Bowling Green to close out Monday. On Tuesday, Northern dropped a tight contest against Eastern Michigan in the third-place match.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped two MAC East contests over the past week. On Wednesday, NIU fell 57-41 against Bowling Green in the Convocation Center. Three days later, the Huskies got through the snowstorm to Buffalo, but lost in the last seconds against the Bulls, 59-54.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies got their first two MAC wins of the year, both coming on the road. NIU shot 59.2 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range Wednesday to down Ohio, 73-52. Sunday at Kent State, the Huskies topped the Golden Flashes, 52-47.

Wrestling: The Huskies closed out their home schedule Friday inside the Convocation Center, losing to in-state rival Northwestern, 36-6. Rob Jillard got the lone NIU win with a first period pin.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted their highest point total of the year Friday night, but lost to No. 21 Central Michigan, 194.800-194.025. NIU's team score was 1.150 points higher than its previous season best.

Track & Field: NIU continued their streak of strong performances over the weekend, posting 11 top 10 finishes and two MAC automatic qualifying marks over the weekend at the GVSU Big Meet. Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory earned auto berths in the 60 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively, while Jamie Burr took third in the 800 meters.

Softball: Northern Illinois started their season with a 3-2 performance at Baylor's Getterman Classic. On Friday, the Huskies defeated Illinois State, 3-1, and Sam Houston State, 4-0. Saturday saw NIU drop a pair of games against No. 22 Baylor, 4-1 and 1-0, before capping their stay with a 5-3 victory over SHSU.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies split their two contests in the St. Louis area over the weekend. NIU defeated Saint Louis, 6-1, for their sixth-straight win Saturday, but lost to SIU Edwardsville, 4-3, on Sunday.

Women's Tennis: NIU improved to 5-1 on the season with a pair of wins downstate. On Saturday, the Huskies pulled out a tight 4-3 win against Saint Louis before sweeping SIU Edwardsville, 7-0, on Sunday.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois was involved in two tight contests over the past week with different results. On Wednesday, Abdel Nader's jumper with 2.2 seconds left helped the Huskies beat Kent State, 67-65. Three days later, Toledo came in to the Convocation Center and emerged with a 69-64 win over NIU.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two games during the week. Despite trailing at the half, NIU surged back from an 18-point deficit to take a lead against Eastern Michigan, but ultimately lost in a 67-62 decision. On Super Bowl Sunday against MAC East leader Miami (Ohio), the Huskies pushed the RedHawks, but lost, 65-51.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois improved their record to 3-0 at home with a 192.875-192.775 win against Southeast Missouri State Saturday. Senior Natalie Sutter had the highest score of the meet with a 9.825 in the floor exercise.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies upped their winning streak to five over the weekend with a trio of victories. On Friday, NIU defeated Dayton, 5-2, and Valparaiso, 7-0. They followed that up Sunday with a 4-2 win against UIC.

Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois suffered their first loss of the season Saturday, falling in a 6-1 decision to Southern Illinois.

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Men's Basketball: It was an up-and-down week for Northern Illinois on the road, as they split their two games in the Great Lakes State. On Wednesday, the Huskies came away with an impressive 74-61 win at Central Michigan, with Abdel Nader scoring a game-high 23 points. They followed that up with a rough 42-25 loss at Eastern Michigan Saturday.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies continued their mid-season struggles during the week with two home losses. Despite a valiant second half rally on Wednesday against Western Michigan, NIU lost to the Broncos, 54-51. It was a similar tale Saturday, as Northern fell in the final seconds to Toledo, 44-42.

Wrestling: NIU couldn't snap their losing streak Saturday, as they fell to #7 Missouri and Eastern Michigan. In the first half of the doubleheader, the Huskies dropped a close 22-17 decision to EMU. They followed that up with a 39-3 loss to the nationally-ranked Tigers.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois suffered their first loss of the season Friday night, as they were ousted by Ball State, 192.475-192.075. NIU outscored BSU in three events and Megan Melendez won the balance beam, but it was not enough against the Cardinals.

Track & Field: NIU posted several great individual performances at the Indiana Relays. Rebecca Cronin won the 600 meters on Friday, while Sidra Sherrill inched closer to breaking the school's indoor shot put record with a 46-09.00 (14.25m) toss.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies kicked off their home schedule Friday with a pair of dominating wins against UW-Whitewater and Chicago State in Rockford. NIU beat the Warhawks, 6-1, and swept the Cougars, 7-0.

Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois got their seasons tarted right with three wins in the first weekend. On Friday, the Huskies defeated Bradley, 6-1. They would cap off the weekend with 7-0 sweeps against Valparaiso and Western Illinois.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped two conference games during the past week. On Wednesday, the Huskies lost to preseason conference favorite Ohio, 81-63, despite four NIU players scoring in double figures. Northern closed out the week with a 71-34 loss at home to Western Michigan where the Huskies shot just 20 percent from the field.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies are still looking for their first conference win after losing two last week. NIU led at halftime against Akron on Wednesday, but an 18-2 Zip run to start the second sent the Huskies to a 63-52 loss. It was a similar story on Saturday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. where Northern dropped an 83-56 contest against Central Michigan.

Wrestling: NIU pushed #12 Central Michigan, but could not pull off the upset Friday in a 23-12 loss to the Chippewas. Wins by Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta and Andrew Morse put the Huskies up 9-7 at halftime, but it was not enough against CMU's strong upper weight wrestlers.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois came from behind for the second meet in a row Saturday, as they ousted Bowling Green, 192.775-192.525, in both schools' conference opener. 

Track & Field: NIU placed seventh at Minnesota's Jack Johnson Classic over the weekend. Megan Gregory excelled on the track, earned a second place finish in the 60 hurdles.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies opened their season Sunday with a 6-1 loss to #35 Minnesota. Frederic Cadieux notched the lone point for NIU with a win in third singles.

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Men's Basketball: In their opening week of MAC play, Northern Illinois split two matchups with MAC East foes. On Wednesday, the Huskies ended a 13-game skid at Miami (Ohio) with a 72-61 win against the RedHawks. Three days later, the Huskies dropped their home conference opener in a 68-53 loss to Akron.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies fell in their first two MAC games of the year during the past week. In their conference opener, NIU lost 60-53 to Buffalo in a game that was plagued by Northern turnovers. On Sunday, the Huskies hurt themselves again with 25 turnovers in a 57-51 loss to Ball State.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois' return from a month-long roadtrip did not go smoothly, as NIU lost, 32-13, to the Ohio Bobcats. Despite wins by Derek Elmore, Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta, Ohio dispatched the Huskies with four pins on the night.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois got their season started in the right way with a narrow 192.175-192.050 win over instate rival Illinois State. Junior Natasha Jufko won the balance beam in the comeback win.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois opened 2013 with several promising performances. Sidra Sherrill won the shot put, while Ellen Renk, Alex Schad and Ida Burbulla turned out strong showings in jumps. On the track, Megan Gregory made two finals appearances.

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Football: Northern Illinois ended its historic season on New Year's Day with a 31-10 loss against the Florida State Seminoles in the Discover Orange Bowl. Jordan Lynch finished the game 15-for-41 passing for 176 yards, while Tommylee Lewis led NIU with five catches for 61 yards. The Huskies finished the season with a 12-2 record.

Men's Basketball: NIU dropped three close contests over the break. During their swing through the Pacific Northwest, the Huskies dropped a 75-48 contest to the hot-shooting Seattle Redhawks. Later in the week, NIU came just short of knocking off the Washington Huskies, losing 67-57 despite Abdel Nader's 18 points. A week later on their home floor, the Huskies pushed UMass to the brink, but lost 64-59 in the Convocation Center.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies went 2-3 during the holiday stretch that saw them play in three different states. Right before Christmas, NIU defeated Eastern Illinois, 48-38, in the Convocation Center before dropping a 66-61 overtime heartbreaker at UIC. At the Virginia Cavalier Classic the next weekend, the Huskies lost to Xavier, 66-54, then followed that up with a 69-38 thumping of Norfolk State. The team closed out their non-conference schedule with a 54-49 loss at Valparaiso.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois had plenty of highs and lows during the holiday season. The Huskies lost their MAC opener, 29-9, at defending regular season champion Kent State to start off the break. At the Midlands Championships, Derek Elmore and Andrew Morse each posted two wins to lead the team, while Matt Mougin and Shawn Fayette each grabbed one victory. The three-week stretch ended on a positive note Sunday, when the Huskies earned dual wins against Appalachian State and SIU Edwardsville.

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Men's Basketball: NIU nearly pulled off a big upset Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena, but ultimately fell to DePaul, 69-64. Adbel Nader scored a game-high 20 points in the game that saw the Huskies get within one with 16 seconds to play.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies started their Christmas break with a 68-46 loss at DePaul Saturday night. Amanda Corral led the team with 15 points, but the Blue Demons' 49.1 shooting percentage for the game was too much to overcome.

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Men's Basketball: NIU split their two non-conference contests over the past week. The Huskies defeated SIU Edwardsville, 65-54, Wednesday behind double figure scoring from Aksel Bolin, Sam Mader and Travon Baker. However, Northern dropped a tight 80-73 overtime decision at Milwaukee Friday night despite Akeem Springs' 21 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies lost to a Missouri Valley Conference opponent for the second-straight week, this time falling to Indiana State, 58-52. Amanda Corral led NIU with 19 points.

Wrestling: The Huskies fell to Michigan State Saturday, 25-9, in the annual Showcase Meet. Nick Smith, Tyler Argue and Matt Mougin posted wins for NIU in the loss.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois began their indoor season strong with one event title and six top five finishes at the Cyclone Holiday Preview. Freshman Ida Burbulla took the high jump title with a mark of 5-03.75 (1.62m).

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Football: Northern Illinois won their second consecutive Mid-American Conference title Friday with a 44-37 double overtime win over then No. 17 Kent State at Detroit's Ford Field. Jordan Lynch combined for 372 yards of total offense, while the Huskie defense held KSU's vaunted rushing attack in check before Demetrius Stone's fourth down interception in the endzone sealed the win. The victory solidified a spot for the Huskies in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl against ACC champion Florida State.

Men's Basketball: NIU lost two non-conference games during the week. On Tuesday, the Huskies lost 58-46 to in-state rival UIC despite Sam Mader's 15 points. On Saturday, Northern dropped a 60-43 decision to the Dayton Flyers with Travon Baker leading NIU with 17 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies split two non-conference contests to close out November. NIU lost a tight one on the road Wednesday night with a 67-58 defeat at the hands of the Bradley Braves in Peoria, Ill. They would rebound Friday night, though, with a 67-63 victory over the Loyola Ramblers for the team's first home win in 2012-13.

Wrestling: The Huskies posted 14 placewinners and one champion Saturday at the Kaufman-Brand Open. Rob Jillard led the way for the team with a first place finish at 149 pounds. Meanwhile, Andrew Morse took second at 157 pounds and Jared Torrence took third at heavyweight.

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Football: Northern Illinois wrapped up its regular season Friday with a convincing 49-7 win over Eastern Michigan. Akeem Daniels rushed for 112 yards on 12 carries, while Jordan Lynch combined for 275 yards of total offense in the win. The victory was NIU's 11th in a row and marks the first time that the program has reached the 11-win plateau during the regular season.

Men's Basketball: NIU dropped a close 53-46 decision against in-state rival Loyola Saturday at the Convocation Center. Akeem Springs paced the Huskie offense with 15 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies lost a close one at home to South Dakota State Wednesday, 59-58. Jada Buggs led NIU with 16 points, while Satavia Taylor added 10 in the loss.

Volleyball: The Huskies closed out their season Saturday evening with a 3-1 loss at Marquette. Despite dropping the first two sets, NIU made it interesting with a convincing third set win. However, the Golden Eagles' dominant fourth set closed the door on Northern and their season.

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Football: Northern Illinois clinched its third consecutive MAC West title Wednesday night with a 31-24 win over the Toledo Rockets at Huskie Stadium. Jordan Lynch led the Huskies back from a 14-7 halftime deficit with 295 yards passing in the third quarter alone as part of NIU's 21-point explosion. Lynch also became the first QB in NCAA history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 150 in the same game.

Men's Basketball: NIU went 1-1 during the week after a pair of games. On Tuesday, the Huskies took part in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon with a 7 a.m. tilt against Valparaiso. However, the Crusaders' hot shooting was too much in a 69-46 defeat. Northern rebounded from that loss Sunday with a convincing 72-54 win over Judson.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies went 2-0 in the consolation rounds of the WNIT. On Saturday night, NIU knocked off SoCon favorite Davidson in a 64-61 win for Northern's first win of the year. Yet, the squad would top that performance the next night with a 74-46 win over Morehead State.

Volleyball: The Huskies advanced to their third-straight MAC Tournament title match over the weekend, but found a similar result in the final. NIU opened the weekend with a 3-1 win over Akron, as the Huskies won three sets in a row after dropping the first set. They followed that up with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over top-seeded Ohio in which the Huskies dropped the first two sets. However, the run came to an end Sunday afternoon when NIU fell to Bowling Green, 3-2, in the championship match, despite leading two sets to none.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois went 2-1 in their three matches of the NIU Duals. After winning a forfeit-filled opener against Calumet College of St. Joseph, 57-0, the Huskies shut out the Loras Duhawks, 41-0, to set up a final showdown against No. 23 Purdue. However, the Boilermakers handed the Huskies a 37-0 defeat for NIU's first loss of the season.

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Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped their season opener Friday with a 77-64 defeat at Nebraska Omaha. Aksel Bolin paced NIU with 11 points, while freshman Daveon Balls added 10 for the Huskies.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies started their year off Monday with a tight 45-42 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan, as  Amanda Corral led NIU with 12 points and sank to critical free throws late. The squad kicked off their regular season Friday night in Iowa City, Iowa, when they dropped a 63-40 decision to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois' season came to a close over the weekend, but not without a run to the MAC Championship match. On Friday, the Huskies held West Virginia scoreless for the second time in 2012 en route to a 1-0 win over the Mountaineers in the semi-finals. However, No. 1 Akron ended NIU's run Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory in the title match to clinch the conference crown.

Volleyball: The Huskies wrapped up their regular season with a split against two of the MAC's leaders. NIU dropped a 3-1 decision at Western Michigan Thursday night, despite having two of the four sets go beyond 25 points. However, Northern rebounded on Senior Night Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Bowling Green.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois kicked off their home schedule in impressive fashion Saturday, grabbing the program's 500th win and knocking off Big Ten foe Indiana en route to a 3-0 performance at the Huskie Duals. The day began with a 36-3 win over Tiffin in which the Huskies won each of the first three matches. They followed that up with a strong 26-12 win over South Dakota State for the 500th win in program history. The day was not complete, though, until NIU got a 19-13 win over Indiana - the team's first over a Big Ten opponent since 2009.

Cross Country: The Huskies ended their 2012 season with a 27th place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Springfield, Mo. Courtney Oldenburg capped off her career by finishing with a 23:17.367 clip despite battling a stomach bug all week.

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Football: The Huskies moved to 9-1 on the year with a 63-0 shutout victory over the UMass Minutemen. QB Jordan Lynch combined for over 300 yards of total offense, while the NIU defense forced four turnovers. The shutout was the first by NIU since Sept. 27, 2008, when they blanked Eastern Michigan, 37-0.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois opened their season with a commanding 89-56 win against Aurora in an exhibition contest . Six Huskies scored in double figures, including 12 each from Kevin Gray and Mike Davis.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament for the second consecutive season during the week, but not without some added drama. The week began with a 2-0 loss at Western Michigan, putting NIU in a "win or go home" situation Friday at Buffalo. However, Northern punched their ticket to Akron with a tight 1-0 win against the Bulls.

Volleyball: The Huskies improved their MAC Tournament hopes over the weekend with a pair of key road wins. On Friday, NIU fought off Toledo for a 3-1 win. They followed that up with a 3-0 sweep of Ball State in which they dominated most every statistical category.

Wrestling: NIU opened their season Saturday at the EMU Open by putting 13 wrestlers on the podium. Matt Mougin led the way with a third place finish at 174 pounds. Meanwhile, Jared Torrence placed fourth at heavyweight and Rob Jillard took fifth at 149, in addition to Derek Elmore (125), Ethan Davis (141), Caleb Busson (174) Shane Rosenberry (184) and Arber Bebo (197) each taking sixth in their respective brackets. On the fresh/soph side, Shawn Scott (1st - 197), Andrew Morse (3rd - 157), Gabe Morse (4th - 141), Braun Marquez (5th - 125) and Bryan Loughlin (5th - 184) all placed for Northern.

SILAS OPENS CAMP WITH SIXERS

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After appearing in two regular season games and two playoff games last season, former Huskie Xavier Silas will rejoin the Philadelphia 76ers for training camp. Silas was one of four free agents signed by the Sixers ahead of the opening of training camp on Tuesday. Silas averaged 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds during his regular season stint last season with the Sixers, he also averaged 9.8 points during his 39 games with the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Developmental League.

 

Silas and the Sixers begin the preseason next Thursday, Oct. 11, when they travel to Orlando.

Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer and long-time college basketball Tom O'Neill was honored by the Atlanta Tip-off Club Wednesday as the 2012 Naismith Men's College Official of the Year.

O'Neill, who played baseball at NIU from 1966-68, has officiated for over 30 years - including over 20 years in the Missouri Valley (30 years), Big 12 (28), Horizon (26) and Big Ten (24). Over his career, the 1968 graduate has officiated games in 13 different Division I conferences and worked 100 games each of the last seven seasons, bringing his career total to over 2,600 games.

He has also officiated in four different Final Fours, working the 1991 and 2007 national semi-finals games and the 1997 and 2009 national championship games. In his entire career, O'Neill has worked 76 games over 26 different NCAA Tournaments. In addition, he has worked milestone victory games for Homer Drew (700th), Denny Crum (600th), Jim Boeheim (500th) and Bob Knight (500th).

On Nov. 30, 2001, O'Neill and two of his sons - Tom,. Jr. and Rick - became the first family to work an NCAA basketball game when they officiated a contest between Marquette and Houston Baptist in Milwaukee, Wis.

O'Neill has also been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and hosts the longest-running basketball officiating camp, "The Tom O'Neill Officiating Camp," which is in its 30th year.

He currently resides in Tinley Park, Ill. with his wife of 43 years, Vicki.

SILAS SEES FIRST PLAYOFF ACTION

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Xavier Silas made his first appearance of the playoffs last night in game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. Silas played a pair of minutes, scoring two points while also grabbing an offensive rebound. Silas and the Sixers fell to the Boston Celtics last night, 107-91, and trail 2-1 in the series. Game four against Boston will take place on Friday night in Philadelphia.  

SILAS MAKES HIS DEBUT

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Former NIU standout Xavier Silas made his NBA debut on Wednesday for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Milwaukee Bucks. Silas came off the bench for the Sixers, playing a little over 18 minutes while scoring five points. With his first action, Silas became the first Huskie to play in an NBA game since Donald Whiteside's last appearance with the Atlanta Hawks on November 4, 1997.

In his second NBA game on Thursday night, Silas scored six points, grabbed three rebounds and had two assists against Detroit

Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago caught up with Silas to talk about receiving his call from the Sixers.



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Men's Basketball: The Huskies' season came to an end this week with a big upset and a near miss the second time. NIU traveled to Ypsilanti, Mich., Monday to take on fifth-seeded Eastern Michigan. Led by Tony Nixon's 14 points, Northern knocked off the Eagles, 48-45. The Huskies nearly found that magic again Wednesday night in Cleveland, but Western Michigan pulled away late for a 71-54 win.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois defied the odds and made a deep run in the MAC Tournament all the way to the quarterfinals. The Huskies were stuck in a nail-biter Wednesday afternoon against Akron. Trailing 60-59 with under ten seconds to go, Kim Davis grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in with six seconds remaining to give NIU a 61-60 victory over the Zips. Their season came to an end Thursday afternoon, though, when third-seeded Toledo earned a 72-62 win.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois struggled on its first event, the uneven parallel bars, and went on to a disappointing third-place finish and an overall score of 192.075 Saturday night at the EMU Eagle Invitational. The Huskies finished behind host Eastern Michigan, who totaled a 193.850, and runner-up Air Force (192.250), while picking up a win over Temple (190.725), to put their season record at 5-7 overall. NIU finishes its MAC regular season slate 2-4.

Baseball: The Huskies took two of three over the weekend at the Riverview Inn Challenge in Clarksville, Tenn. They began the weekend with a 5-1 win over host Austin Peay when Jordan Rishavy drove in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning. NIU repeated that performance Saturday with a 6-5 win against Arkansas State. Their weekend ended with a 13-9 loss to Dayton.

Softball: Northern Illinois split their four games at the DeMarini Invitational in Columbia, Mo. Saturday saw the Huskies throttle Alcorn State, 11-3, in five innings and top Boise State, 5-1. The next day, NIU dropped a 4-3 decision to Boise State and a 8-0 loss to host Missouri.

Men's Tennis: With two singles matches left to play, Northern Illinois was at the heels of No. 68 Brown, 3-2. However, the Huskies were unable to overcome of the deficit and fell to Bears, 5-2. The loss drops NIU to 10-5 on the season.

Spring break week will have many teams competing in warmer climes, as five of the seven teams in action (women's golf, men's tennis, softball, women's tennis, track & field) will be in Florida. Meanwhile, baseball has a two game set in St. Louis before a weekend round-robin at Southern Illinois, while wrestling caps off their season at the NCAA Championships in the Gateway City.

GAME DAY IN CLEVELAND

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It should be a fun day for Huskie hoops in Cleveland as the NIU women play Akron in the MAC Tournament Second Round at 1:30 p.m. CT and the NIU men face Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament Second Round at 6 p.m. CT. For this afternoon's women's game, you can hear all the action with Andy Garcia on WLBK in DeKalb and on Huskie All-Access. You can also see the action online at mac-sports.com.

For tonight's men's contest, catch Bill Baker's call on WLBK, WJOL and Huskie All-Access or watch online at mac-sports.com or on ESPN3.


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Men's Basketball: The Huskies closed out their regular season by splitting two hard-fought games. On Wednesday's Senior Night, NIU came from behind to defeat Toledo, 65-61, behind double figures from Abdel Nader and Aksel Bolin. That momentum partially carried into Saturday, where the visiting Huskies grabbed an early lead on Ball State. However, the Cardinals emerged with a 62-51 win in Muncie.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois faced Western Michigan twice in DeKalb this week with far different results. On Tuesday, the Broncos spoiled Senior Night with a 66-64 overtime victory in the Convo, despite Satavia Taylor's 20 points. The Huskies, though, exacted revenge on their MAC West rivals in the first round of the conference tournament, handing the Broncos a 68-51 defeat Saturday.

Wrestling: Senior Brad Dieckhaus and sophomore Kevin Fanta both secured bids in the NCAA Championships for Northern Illinois Sunday at the MAC Championships. As a team, the Huskies finished fifth with 41 points, falling just a half-point behind Ohio for fourth. Central Michigan won the tournament title with 89 points, followed by Kent State, Eastern Michigan and the host Bobcats. Buffalo took sixth place on the day.

Gymnastics: The Huskies recorded the second-highest team score in school history en route to a 195.100-194.350 dual meet victory over Illinois State Sunday in Normal. NIU posted its best team totals of the year on uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercise with six scores of 9.800 or higher in three different events. The Huskies did not count a score lower than 9.650 on the day while raising their record to 4-5 overall. Northern Illinois' total topped its previous season best of 194.775, set Feb. 11 at Bowling Green. The 195.100 matches the mark posted on Feb. 1, 2004 at Kent State which ranks behind only the 195.650 school record set March 23, 2003 at the State of Illinois Championships.

Baseball: Northern Illinois came close again, but failed to notch their first win of the season. Following Monday's 3-2 heartbreaker at No. 24 Texas Tech, the Huskies headed to Surprise, Ariz., for the Coca-Cola Classic. On Thursday, the team collected 10 hits, but lost 14-7 to Winthrop. The next day, NIU took No. 11 Arizona State to extras, but lost on a walk-off single, 4-3. NIU rounded out the tournament with a 10-5 loss to Iona and a 11-3 defeat from Oregon State.

Softball: The Huskies went 2-2 over the weekend at the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Ill. On Saturday, NIU defeated Wright State, 5-1, before falling later to SIU-Edwardsville, 4-3, in eight innings. Northern would go 1-1 again on Sunday, shutting out Western Illinois, 5-0, and losing to the host Salukis, 15-7.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies returned to their winning ways at home Saturday with two 7-0 wins against Southern Illinois and Eastern Illinois. In both matches, NIU lost just one doubles match each to earn their ninth and 10th wins in 2012. However, the winning streak came to an abrupt end Sunday when Northern was handed a 6-1 decision at Wisconsin.

Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois took down the Milwaukee Panthers on Sunday by a score of 4-3 for its sixth win of the season. It was the second time this year the Huskies found themselves on the winning end while at the Boylan Tennis Center. With the victory, NIU sits at 6-4 on the season.

NIU's upcoming week will be dominated by MAC Tournament action. The women's team heads to Cleveland Wednesday to take on Akron at 1:30 p.m., while the men open their tournament Monday night at Eastern Michigan. Additionally, men's tennis hosts Brown in Rockford Friday; gymnastics goes to Ypsilanti, Mich.; baseball is in Clarksville, Tenn., and softball plays in Columbia, Mo.

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Seven NIU teams were in action during the past week, including track & field excelling at the MAC Indoor Championships and men's tennis winning eight-straight on their home court.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped two MAC West road games during the week, but hung close in both instances. On Wednesday, the Huskies led division-leading Eastern Michigan by 13 half way through the second half, but the Eagles stormed back to take a 48-45 victory in Ypsilanti. NIU returned to Michigan Sunday to face Central Michigan, where they lost 74-64 despite Abdel Nader's 24 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies struggled in two road games during the week, falling at Central Michigan and Toledo. NIU headed to Mt. Pleasant Wednesday, but cold shooting doomed NIU in a 73-50 loss to the Chippewas. Northern followed that up with another offensive setback in a 49-39 defeat to the Rockets.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois seniors Shonda Clore, Ashley Guerra and Tanya Rachan provided eight great routines on Senior Day to lead the Huskie gymnastics team to its second-highest overall score of 2012, but it was not enough to overcome Central Michigan as NIU dropped a dual meet to the Chippewas, 194.950-193.925, Sunday at the NIU Convocation Center.

Track & Field: Chanel Kellyman and Megan Gregory each won conference titles Saturday at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships, helping the Northern Illinois track & field team to their best indoor conference finish as a member of the MAC. The Huskies' 48 team points earned them a seventh place finish in the final standings, topping host Akron by ten points. Additionally, Kellyman (60 meters) and Gregory (60 hurdles) - who earned all-MAC first team honors for their performances - became the first individual indoor MAC champions in NIU track & field history, while NIU broke school records in six different events at the meet.

Baseball: The Huskies' offense improved, but NIU dropped their first three games at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas. Northern fell behind early against No. 18 St. John's, but came back to force extras before the Red Storm belted a walk-off home run to win, 11-9. Later on Saturday, NIU took an early lead against host Texas Tech, but fell 8-5 to the Red Raiders. The Huskies got out to a 3-0 lead Sunday night against TTU, but lost again, 10-4.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies extended their home winning streak to eight matches Saturday with a pair of 7-0 sweeps against Dayton and Western Illinois. However, that streak came to an end Sunday afternoon when Cleveland State upended NIU, 5-2.

Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois dropped two matches in Carbondale, Ill., during the weekend. The Huskies were swept Saturday by Arkansas State, 7-0. On Sunday, they were upended by Southern Illinois, 5-2.

Northern Illinois closes out February and kicks off March this week with eight teams in action. Among the games are women's basketball Senior Day Tuesday vs. Western Michigan, men's basketball Senior Day vs. Toledo, men's tennis hosting Southern Illinois and Eastern Illinois Saturday in Rockford and women's tennis welcoming Milwaukee to the Boylan Tennis Center.

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It was another chock full week of Huskie action, with nine teams in action both in DeKalb and on the road.

Men's Basketball: The Huskies returned to MAC West play and stepped out for a non-conference matchup this week, but suffered a pair of losses. Playing in the Convo Wednesday night, NIU dropped a 78-63 decision to Western Michigan as Tony Nixon scored a season-high 12 points for Northern. The Huskies stepped out of conference play Saturday for a BracketBuster game at SIU-Edwardsville. Despite 12 points each from Abdel Nader and Nixon, the Cougars drilled a last-second shot to defeat NIU, 64-62.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois split a pair of MAC West games at home during the week to start on the regular season home stretch. NIU evened their record to 12-12 overall and 6-6 in the MAC with a 58-44 win against Ball State, with Claire Jakubicek leading the way with 17 points. That momentum did not last for the Huskies, though, as they dropped a 77-57 game to Eastern Michigan. Kim Davis led the way with 26 points.

Wrestling: The Huskies closed out their 2011-12 regular season Saturday with a 23-14 loss to Buffalo. Shawn Fayette (149), Brad Dieckhaus (184), Mike Lukowski (197) and Jared Torrence (285) each won matches on Senior Day, but Buffalo's six wins - including a pin and two major decisions - were too much to overcome.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois came up with its second-highest score of the 2012 season but it was not enough to overcome a strong performance by Mid-American Conference powerhouse Kent State Sunday as the Huskies fell 195.525-193.625.

Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team ended their 2011-12 indoor regular season with an impressive showing at the Ball State Quadrangular, as they captured three event titles and broke two school records en route to a second-place finish. Janay Mitchell Broke the school's 60 meters record for the third time this season with a time of 7.54, while Roneisha Frye eclipsed the 60 hurdles record with a run of 8.59.

Baseball: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 season at Tennessee, but were swept by the Volunteers in the three-game set. The Huskie bats went silent in the first game, only scoring one run in a 7-1 defeat. They would get more run support in a Saturday doubleheader, but dropped both games to the Vols, 10-5 and 7-2.

Softball: The Huskies dropped all three games in a rain-soaked weekend in North Texas to fall to 3-5 on the season. NIU lost their tournament opener to Creighton, 5-4, in eight innings Friday morning, then were bested, 8-3, by the host Mean Green. After Saturday's action was rained out, NIU could not get timely hitting in a 5-1 loss to Creighton Sunday.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies improved to 6-0 at home this year with a pair of wins against Valparaiso and IUPUI. NIU began the day with a 6-1 win over the Crusaders, then folloowed that up with a 5-2 defeat of the Jaguars.

Men's Golf: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 spring season in Dade City, Fla., where they took third place at the MAC Match Play tournament. After a convincing 4-2 win over Ohio in the opening round, the Huskies nearly knocked off top-seeded Ball State in the semifinals, but fell 3.5-2.5. NIU would rally in the third place match, though, with a 4.5-1.5 win against Miami (Ohio).

Another busy week awaits the Huskies with seven teams in action. Among them, only men's tennis and gymnastics are at home. the men's tennis squad looks keep their perfect home record intact Saturday against Dayton and Western Illinois, then Sunday versus Cleveland State. Meanwhile, gymnastics hosts Central Michigan Sunday in DeKalb.

MONTGOMERY MEETS THE GREEKS

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The past two Monday nights, NIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery has spent time visiting the fraternities and sororities at NIU. Last Monday night, Montgomery stopped by the fraternities on campus, bringing Taco Bell to each of the houses. Last night, Montgomery made the rounds to the sororities at NIU, handing out boxes of chocolate in a Pre-Valentine's Day gesture from the Huskies.

"Everyone at the fraternities and sororities was very friendly and it was a good chance to meet and interact with members of the student body," Montgomery said. "We had a great response from the fraternities last week and saw a number of those guys come out and support our team last Wednesday, hopefully we see them come back this week and we see them joined by the sororities we visited last night."

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Eight Huskie teams were in action during the week, including softball kicking off their 2012 season in Louisiana.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois wrapped up divisional crossover play with a split of their two games. The Huskies used Tyler Storm's career-best 17 points and a strong defensive effort on the boards Wednesday to knock off Miami (Ohio), 62-59, inside the Convocation Center. On Saturday, though, Northern was unable to hang with MAC leader Akron in a 75-51 defeat. Keith Gray paced NIU with 13 points.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies had a light week on the hardwood with only one game on the schedule. However, they grabbed a huge win on the road with a 70-58 win against Miami (Ohio). Courtney Shelton led NIU with 13 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois returned to the .500 mark Sunday with a pair of dominating wins against Tiffin and SIU-Edwardsville. The Huskies began the day with a 42-0 shutout of the Dragons to earn their second shutout of the year. NIU would nearly repeat that performance in the last dual of the day with a 34-8 victory against the in-state rival Cougars.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois hit all 24 of its routines en route to its seventh-best team score ever and a 194.775-193.975 victory over Bowling Green Saturday at Anderson Arena.

The victory lifted NIU's record to 3-3 overall, 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference, while Bowling Green fell to 1-8, 0-3.

Track & Field: It was a record-setting weekend for the Huskies, as two school records fell and a third was tied at the Iowa State Classic. NIU's 4x400 relay of Chanel Kellyman, Jenelle McCalla, Julianne Cronin and Rebecca Cronin demolished the school mark with a time of 3:47.74 - breaking the former record by nearly two seconds. In addition, Jenner Sio surpassed the triple jump record with a 39-01.00 leap, while Kellyman tied the NIU 200 meter record with a run of 24.52.

Softball: Northern Illinois opened their season with a 3-2 performance over the weekend at Southeastern Louisiana. The Huskies won both of their rain-soaked Friday games with an 8-4 win over Southern and a 9-8 triumph against Nicholls State. NIU split their Saturday slate, falling 10-2 to Troy and defeating UT-Martin, 7-5. The team would fall in their tournament finale to the host Lions, 10-2.

Men's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 during the weekend to improve to 4-2 on the year. On Friday, the Huskies defeated SIU-Edwardsville and IPFW by identical 6-1 scores inside the Boylan Tennis Center. Northern hit the road Sunday to face No. 70 Drake, where they lost, 7-0, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies continued its fantastic start to the season Sunday by defeating Eastern Illinois, 6-1, at the Boylan Tennis Center. The 5-2 mark by the Huskies is the best start for the team in nearly a decade.

NIU's busy month continues this week when men's golf and baseball both tee off on their respective seasons. Men's golf is in Dade City, Fla., for the MAC Match Play tournament, while baseball has a three-game weekend series at Tennessee. Additionally, men's basketball host Western Michigan Wednesday and women's basketball hosts Ball State Thursday and Eastern Michigan Saturday, along with wrestling taking on Buffalo Saturday in Victor E. Court and men's tennis battling Valparaiso and IUPUI Friday in Rockford.

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Northern Illinois kicked off a busy month of February with sex teams in action, as the transition between the winter and spring seasons gets into full force.

Men's Basketball: The Huskies continued to struggle in division crossover play during the week, as they fell to Ohio and Bowling Green. Despite only trailing by one at the half Wednesday, NIU failed to pull off a major upset against the Bobcats, falling 67-58 in DeKalb, despite Antoine Christian's season-high 15 points. In Bowling Green Saturday, Northern was doomed by a slow start offensively, falling behind by 25 at the half en route to a 65-40 loss to the Falcons.

Women's Basketball: NIU split their games during the week and have now won four of their last six games. Facing conference leader Bowling Green on Wednesday, the Huskies hung close to the Falcons, but couldn't get over the hump in a 57-47 defeat. Claire Jakubicek paced the NIU offense with 17 points in the loss. Northern rebounded Saturday against Ohio with a 50-46 win in DeKalb. Jakubicek led NIU with 16 points to help the Huskies avenge last season's MAC Tournament loss.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois dropped its fourth-straight dual match Friday, losing 24-18 at No. 19 Northwestern. Trailing 24-3 last in the match, the Huskies rallied with three straight wins - including pins by Brad Dieckhaus and Jared Torrence - in the final three matches. However, that comeback was a case of too little, too late for the NIU.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted its top scores of the season on vault, balance beam and floor exercise and overcame a 1.225 point deficit in the final half of the meet to defeat Ball State, 192.925-191.125 Saturday in Victor E. Court. NIU claimed its first Mid-American Conference victory and first home win of the season to improve to 2-3 overall, 1-1 in the MAC. Ball State fell to 1-4, 0-3.

Men's Tennis: The Huskies traveled to Bloomington, Ind., Sunday for a matchup with No. 27 Indiana, but were defeated, 7-0, by the Hoosiers. Despite strong play from several Huskies, NIU failed to win a match on the day.

Women's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 for the second-straight weekend as they defeated North Dakota and Bradley to improve to 4-2 on the season. After falling to Northern Iowa, 6-1, on Friday, The Huskies rebounded with a 6-1 victory over North Dakota in Waterloo, Iowa. The team capped off their weekend in Peoria, Ill., where they swept in-state rival Bradley, 7-0.

The Huskies continue into February with a week chock full of competition both in DeKalb and on the road. Softball opens their 2012 season on the road at the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament, while men's basketball (Wednesday vs. Miami [OH]), men's tennis (Friday vs. IPFW and SIU-Edwardsville), wrestling (Sunday vs. SIU-Edwardsville and Tiffin) and women's tennis (Sunday vs. Eastern Illinois) are all at home.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Basketball dominated the schedule this week, as both the men's and women's teams played a pair of games during the first week of winter break.

Men's Basketball: They hung tough in both contests, but the Huskies dropped a pair of non-conference games at the NIU Convocation Center against DePaul and Southern Illinois. Wednesday against the Blue Demons of DePaul, the Huskies were within striking distance for all of the first half and part of the second, but turnovers and hot shooting by the visitors resulted in a 75-52 Huskie loss. The team followed that up Saturday with a 62-49 defeat against the instate rival Salukis.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois split their pair of the games during the week by defeating Indiana and losing to UIC. The Huskies lost a tough, defensive struggle Wednesday night against the Flames, 49-47, after UIC scored on a jumper with 1.1 seconds remaining. However, the team found themselves on the other side of a close game Saturday at Indiana, when Courtney Shelton drained a three with nine seconds left in the game to send NIU to a 60-59 upset, resulting in the team's first win against a Big Ten opponent since 2006.

Northern Illinois will host three events this week before the Christmas weekend. On Tuesday, NIU men's basketball welcomes Valparaiso to the Convo for a 7 p.m. tilt. Wednesday, the wrestling team hosts Kent State, Cleveland State and Cumberland in a quad meet, which begins at 11 a.m. inside Victor E. Court. Women's basketball wraps up NIU's pre-Christmas schedule Thursday night when they take on Indiana State at 7 p.m.

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Finals week meant a light schedule for Northern Illinois Huskie Athletics, as only three teams competed during the normally hectic week. Nonetheless, there were several bright spots to the week's events.

Men's Basketball: Despite leading at the half, the Huskies could not secure their first win Saturday as the fell to the UIC Flames, 62-55, in Chicago. Antoine Christian and Kevin Gray each contributed 11 points in the effort, while the defense got 12 turnovers. Yet, the Flames would hit several clutch free throws at the end to take the victory.

Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois won their second game in a row and their first on the road Sunday afternoon with a 73-40 shellacking of Chicago State. Claire Jakubicek paced the Huskie offense with 21 points and five assists, in addition to seven rebounds. As a team, NIU shot 61.2 percent from the field, while limiting the Cougars to a slim 25 percent.

Track & Field: NIU got their 2011-12 season off to a fast start Friday in Ames, Iowa, as they took three event titles at the Cyclone Holiday Preview. Janay Mitchell not only won the 60m dash, but broke the NIU record in the event with a time of 7.57. Roneisha Frye (60m hurdles) and Rebecca Cronin (800m) also scored event titles, while Rasheta Butler set a new school record in the 300m with a time of 40.00.

The Huskies begin their Christmas break schedule this week with the men's and women's basketball teams each playing a pair of games. On Wednesday, the women host UIC at 5:30 p.m. and the men play DePaul at 8 p.m. in the first of four men's-women's doubleheaders at the NIU Convocation Center. The men's team will then play Southern Illinois Saturday in DeKalb, while the women hit the road to play Indiana.

SILAS CAMPING WITH THE SIXERS

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With the end of the NBA lockout, former Huskie star Xavier Silas is getting his chance to make it in the NBA. Silas has joined the Philadelphia 76ers as a non-roster player hoping to impress and earn a spot on the team. Silas averaged 22.3 points per game last season for the Huskies, seventh-best in the nation. Silas and the Sixers open the preseason on Friday, Dec. 16 as they travel to Washington.

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The Huskies earned another conference championship over the weekend with the football team's win against Ohio Friday night, while volleyball's season came to an end in the NCAA Tournament.

Football: The Huskies clinched their first MAC title since 1983 Friday night in Detroit with a 23-20 victory against the Ohio Bobcats. Trailing 20-0 at halftime, NIU engineered a second-half comeback that included three Chandler Harnish touchdown passes and a stout defensive performance. The win, though, was not secured until Mat Sims converted on a 33-yard field goal as time expired. The Huskies will now play Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in the GoDaddy.com Bowl against the Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State Red Wolves.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois's season came to a close Friday night in Ames, Iowa, as the Huskies were defeated by No. 25 Miami, 3-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Lauren Wicinski paced the Huskies with 23 kills, while Kristin Hoffman registered a double-double with 47 assists and 13 digs. NIU finishes the season with a 28-7 record.

Men's Basketball: There were two more tough losses for the Huskies during the week, as NIU lost to Utah Valley and Nebraska Omaha. On Monday night, the Huskies were tied with UVU into the second half, but a scoring drought doomed Northern in a 58-47 defeat. In their return home Saturday afternoon, Tim Toler scored 25 points and the team committed a season-low eight turnovers, but the Mavericks' 52 percent shooting performance lifted them to a 77-72 win against NIU.

Women's Basketball: NIU pulled out a close win Tuesday night with a 53-50 win against instate rival Southern Illinois. Trailing 50-49 late, Alicia Johnson sank a jumper with 13 seconds left to put NIU ahead for good. The Huskies were paced by Amanda Corral, who put in 17 points in the win.

Wrestling: The Huskies pushed Purdue to the brink Thursday night in DeKalb, but couldn't pull out a win in a 19-15 loss at the annual NIU Showcase Meet. Trailing 16-9 with three matches left, the Huskies scored wins at 184 and 197 to pull within one point of the Boilermakers. Yet, Jared Torrence's valiant effort at heavyweight was for naught, as Purdue won the final match in triple-overtime to escape with a win.

With finals week in full swing, the schedule becomes very light for the Huskies. Men's basketball plays their lone road game in December Saturday at UIC, while the women's basketball team also heads to the Windy City to face Chicago State Sunday. Meanwhile, track & field kicks off their 2011-12 schedule Friday at the Iowa State Holiday Preview.

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The Huskies had much to be thankful for during the Thanksgiving weekend, as football clinched the MAC West title for the second-straight season and volleyball earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Football: The Huskies locked up the MAC West championship Friday at Huskie Stadium with a tough 18-12 win against Eastern Michigan. With the offense struggling, the defense stepped up to the occasion with four sacks of EMU QB Alex Gillett, while limiting the Eagles to 280 yards of total offense. Chandler Harnish gave the Huskies the winning points with a 68-yard scamper late in the third quarter.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois closed out their regular season Saturday afternoon with a commanding 3-0 sweep of the Marquette Golden Eagles. NIU held sizable advantages in hitting percentage (.315-.116), blocks (9-1) and kills (41-34) in the victory, which was their second of the season against MU and fourth against Big East opponents. On Sunday, the team learned they would earn a spot in the 64-team NCAA Tournament, where they will face Miami (Fla.) in the first round.

Men's Basketball: Despite shooting over 50 percent from the field in the second half, Northern Illinois was unable to come away with a win Saturday as they fell to Boise State, 71-57, in Taco Bell Arena. Abdel Nader led NIU with 16 points in the game, while Tony Nixon contributed 11 points in the losing effort. The Huskies held a 33-29 rebounding advantage to the Broncos, but also committed 21 turnovers.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two games against Missouri Valley Conference foes during the week to drop to 2-3 on the young season. The week started with a 50-45 loss to the Bradley Braves, despite Amanda Corral's three treys and seven rebounds. The struggles continued Saturday afternoon with an 81-62 defeat against Illinois State. Ashley Sneed led NIU with 14 points, but ISU's 52.9 field goal percentage was too much to overcome.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois returned to dual action Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., where they went 2-1 at the 2011 Hoosier Duals. The Huskies began the day with a 22-14 victory against Campbell and a 25-7 thrashing of SIU-Edwardsville. However, they would drop their final match of the day against nationally-ranked Indiana, 22-12. Individually, Nick Smith, Tyler Loethen and Brad Dieckhaus won all three of their matches on the day.

With November ending and December beginning, the Huskies will have a big week of competition. The headliners are both Friday, as Football plays Ohio for the MAC Championship at Detroit's Ford Field and volleyball takes on the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. Meanwhile, men's basketball plays at Utah Valley Monday and hosts Nebraska-Omaha Saturday, women's basketball takes on Southern Illinois Tuesday, and wrestling hosts Purdue in the annual Showcase Meet.

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This past week was one characterized by big games for NIU Athletics. Football took a step closer to their second-straight MAC title, volleyball tried to take home the MAC Tournament championship and men's soccer advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA College Cup.

Football: Northern Illinois trailed by as many as 17 points against the archrival Ball State Cardinals, but an explosive offense and an effective two minute drill helped lift the Huskies to a 41-38 victory over BSU. In the game, Chandler Hanrish set a school record with 519 yards of total offense, while Mathew Sims' two field goals late in the game helped NIU tie then win the Battle for the Bronze Stalk.

Volleyball: For the second straight season, the Huskies came up just short in their quest for the MAC Tournament championship, NIU swept Bowling Green, 3-0, on Friday to advance to the semifinals. There, they took down Ball State, 3-1, to set up a showdown with Central Michigan Sunday afternoon. Yet, it was not meant to be for NIU. After trailing, 2-0, the Huskies stormed back to tie the match a two sets apiece, but the Chippewas would take the decisive fifth set by a 15-11 margin to win the tournament, 3-2.

Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois' struggles continued on the hardwood this week, as the team went 0-3 with two close losses at home and one on the road at Iowa. Monday, NIU nearly pulled off an amazing comeback in the final minutes against Milwaukee, but it was the Panthers who emerged with a 59-57 win. The Huskies then traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, Thursday, where they ran into a hot-shooting Hawkeye team, falling 88-55. The team completed their week at home against Eastern Illinois with a 67-55 loss to the Panthers.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies went two-for-two in DeKalb this week with two exciting wins in the Convocation Center. On Wednesday, NIU went to double overtime against Western Illinois before taking a 91-84 decision against the Leathernecks. In the game, six Huskies scored in double figures. Northern followed that up with an impressive 58-52 win against the Temple Owls, a team that was nationally-ranked a season ago.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois' season came to a close this past week in the NCAA College Cup, as the team advanced to the Round of 32 before bowing out. The Huskies opened up their tournament with a bang Thursday with a 3-0 win against Western Illinois in the tournament's opening round. NIU's defense played a major factor in the game, allowing the Leathernecks only one shot on goal the whole 90 minutes. That run, however, came to an abrupt halt on Sunday, as the Creighton Bluejays used their nationally-ranked defensive unit to stop the Huskies, 3-0.

The Huskies' schedule for Thanksgiving week includes a trio of games sandwiched around Turkey Day. On Wednesday, the women's basketball team will welcome Bradley to the Convo for a Thanksgiving Eve tilt at 7 p.m. Then on Friday, football will try to clinch the MAC West championship and a spot in the Marathon MAC Championship game at 10 a.m. when they face the Eagles of Eastern Michigan. The Huskies' Thanksgiving homestand wraps up Saturday afternoon when volleyball takes on BIG EAST power Marquette at 4 p.m. inside Victor E. Court. Additionally, wrestling travels to Bloomington, Ind., for the Hoosier Duals and basketball heads west for a Saturday night game against Boise State.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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It was a monumental week for Northern Illinois athletics, as the men's soccer team won the MAC Tournament championship - earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament in the process - and the volleyball team won the MAC West Division and regular season titles.

Football: The Huskie offense kept up their offensive momentum Tuesday against Bowling Green with a 45-14 thrashing of the Falcons. Chandler Harnish led the NIU attack with 294 yards passing and 151 on the ground, while the entire offense accumulated 623 total yards on the BGSU defense. On the other side of the line, the Huskie defense shut out the Falcon offense in the second half, limiting them to a measly 90 yards in the last 30 minutes of the game.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois went 2-0 during the week to clinch the 2011 MAC regular season championship and the top seed in this week's MAC Tournament. On Thursday, the team traveled to Kalamazoo, Mich., where they dispatched the Western Michigan Broncos, 3-1, to wrap up the MAC title. The Huskies extended their winning streak to 13 matches Saturday with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Bowling Green.

Men's Basketball: NIU opened their regular season Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind., where they fell to the Purdue Boilermakers, 96-34, in the rededication of Mackey Arena. Tim Toler paced the Huskie offense with 11 points on the night, while Freshman wing Abdel Nader added nine points and freshman forward Kevin Gray grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two games during the week to open their 2011-12 season. Tuesday, the team lost in an exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan, 61-52, as NIU struggled to find any offense. They followed that up Sunday by dropping a 73-42 decision in Chicago against the Ramblers of Loyola. Ashley Sneed led NIU with a career-high 12 points on the day.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois brought home the MAC Tournament championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament over the weekend with a pair of wins in Akron, Ohio. In the semifinals Friday, the Huskies used a Gael Rivera second half goal to get past Buffalo, 1-0, meaning they would face fourth-seeded Western Michigan, who upset top-seed Akron on penalty kicks earlier in the day. Sunday's title match also came down to the wire, but Sean Totsch found the back of the WMU net with 6:40 left in regulation to win, 1-0. NIU's NCAA Tournament opponent will be determined Monday afternoon on NCAA.com.

Wrestling: Northern Illinois put two wrestlers on the podium Saturday at the Michigan State Open, as Nick Smith and Rob Jillard both took top four finishes in East Lansing, Mich. Smith, who was competing less than two hours from his hometown of Ida, Mich., advanced all the way to the finals after winning three matches at 125. However, he would fall in the championship to Northwestern's Levi Mele. Jillard finished fourth at 133 after making it to the semifinals with two dominating wins.

Cross Country: The NIU cross country team closed out their 2011 season Saturday when they hosted the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional. The team finished 28th behind Courtney Oldenburg's time of 23:21.16 on the 6K NIU North 40 to finish 121st. Further behind the junior was freshman Jamie Burr, who posted a season-best second place showing among Huskie runners with a time of 24:25.02 to take 164th overall.

Northern will have at least one team competing every day this week, including a host of games in DeKalb. Football highlights the week with a Tuesday night showdown against Ball State at Huskie Stadium in the Battle for the Bronze stalk. In addition, men's and women's basketball each have a pair of home games, including a doubleheader Sunday, while men's soccer will learn their opponent for Thursday's first round Monday afternoon. The top-seeded women's volleyball team will head east to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the MAC Tournament.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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With the move into November, Northern Illinois also began the transition to its winter sports schedule with men's basketball and wrestling opening their schedules and football, men's soccer and volleyball entering the home stretch of their respective slates.

Football: It was a wild game in Toledo's Glass Bowl between NIU and the Rockets, but it was the Huskies who emerged victorious by a 63-60 score. Trailing by four late in the fourth quarter, Huskie QB Chandler Harnish found Perez Ashford in the back corner of the endzone with 19 seconds left to give NIU the win, a share of the MAC West lead and bowl eligibility. Among the standout performances were Harnish's career-high six touchdown passes - three of which went to Nathan Palmer - and Tommylee Lewis' two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois earned its 22nd and 23rd wins of the season and extended their current winning streak to 11 over the weekend at Victor E. Court with victories over MAC West rivals Toledo and Ball State. On Friday, the Huskies used a .429-.256 hitting percentage advantage and nine aces to defeat the Rockets, 3-0. NIU earned a critical 3-0 win Saturday night to push themselves into a tie for first place with Western Michigan.

Men's Basketball: The young Huskies squad showed signs of promise during Friday's exhibition against Carthage College, but it was the Red Men's 13 three-pointers that doomed NIU in Carthage's 74-70 overtime win at the Convocation Center. Abdel Naber put up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Tim Toler scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois wrapped up their 2011 regular season schedule by splitting a pair of road matches. The Huskies outshot Milwaukee Wednesday, 21-10, but were unable to fin the back of the net in a 1-0 non-conference loss, ceding control of the Lewang Cup. Northern would return to their winning ways on Saturday, though, with a crucial 2-1 win against the Hartwick Hawks. The victory gave NIU the No. 2 seed in this weekend's MAC Tournament in Akron.

Wrestling: The Huskies opened their 2011-12 regular season with a split in the triangular with North Central and No. 21 Stanford. After a sluggish start, NIU posted four straight wins to take a 30-15 decision against the North Central Cardinals. Later, Northern dropped a tough one to the nationally-ranked Cardinal, 20-13, after leading 13-7 through six matches.

NIU enters the thick of November with a busy week coming up. On Tuesday, the football team travels to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons and women's basketball takes on Indiana Wesleyan in the Convocation Center in exhibition action. In addition, volleyball closes out their regular season with two big road matches at Western Michigan and Bowling Green, men's soccer heads to the MAC Tournament, wrestling competes in the Michigan State Open, and both basketball teams open their regular seasons on the road (men at Purdue; women at Loyola).

EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE

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Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com caught up with NIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery this week. Montgomery tells Brennan about reaching his goal of becoming a Division I head coach and the built-in advantages he sees at Northern Illinois.
  

MISSED MEDIA DAY? DON'T WORRY, WE HAVE YOU COVERED

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Convo Hoops Logo.jpegIf you missed yesterday's NIU Basketball Media Day or are looking for more coverage, we have you covered.  Let's start with the transcript of the press conference -- click here.  After the press conference, the following articles were written from one-on-one interviews:

"New eras begin for NIU men's, women's basketball teams," by Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star

"Hoops media day notes," by Huskie Wire

"Montgomery wants to build Huskies' identity on tough defense," by Ryan Wood, Daily Chronicle

"Bennett set to begin second season," by Matt Hopkinson, Northern Star

"Montgomery ready to open up first season" by Brian Thomas, Northern Star

The Huskies were also featured on video by the following local TV stations:

WREX, Rockford's NBC affiliate

WTVO, Rockford's ABC affiliate

MONTGOMERY BRINGS WINNING PHILOSOPHY TO NIU

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Sports Illustrated web front_small.jpgNIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery spent the last 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State and, as Steve Hendershot explains in an article for Sports Illustrated, Montgomery brought much of that winning Spartan formula to NIU. But the NIU way isn't completely the same as the MSU way, read more to find out where Montgomery believes he and Izzo differ. 

FORMER HUSKIE STAR MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times recently caught up with former NIU basketball player, and Huskie Hall of Famer, Rodney Davis to talk about Davis' current work with young people in the Aurora area. In 2005, the former NIU star started L.I.F.E. Support Incorporated, a non-profit that provides social services and recreational activities for young people. Davis has also written a book entitled, "After The Buzzer - 7 Steps for Winning the Big Game (Life, After the Cheering Stops)." You can find more information on Davis' book at afterthebuzzer.com and on his organization at lifesupportinc.org.

DERNBACH MOVES TO COACHING ROLE

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Kent_Dernbach.jpgMen's Basketball Director of Operations Kent Dernbach is leaving NIU to join Wisconsin-Stevens Point as an assistant coach. Dernbach, a native of Almond, Wis., returns to his home state to pursue his goal of coaching on the collegiate level. He joins a Wisconsin-Stevens Point program that has won three NCAA Division III national championships in the last eight seasons. A Director of Operations performs numerous behind the scenes tasks for the program and, while we wish him all the best at UWSP, Kent will be missed at NIU. 

EARLY MORNING ON THE HARDWOOD

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first workout.jpgAs of today, Sept. 15, NCAA rules allow college basketball teams to begin full team workouts for up to two hours per week. NIU head coach Mark Montgomery wasted little time in getting the Huskies on the floor, putting his squad through a workout at 6:15 a.m. this morning. The first official day of practice might be 29 days away, and the regular season opener at Purdue 57 days away, but the Huskies are already hard at work preparing for the season.

HUSKIES VOLUNTEER AT CORN FEST RACE

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The NIU men's basketball team was up bright and early this past Saturday morning, volunteering its time at the annual Corn Fest 10K Race. The team handed out water and offered encouragement to the runners competing in the race. The Corn Fest Race is one of many community service projects the Huskies have taken part in. 

MORE VISITORS AT PRACTICE

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The size of the crowd at football practice today increased as a number of students, and their families, participating in move-in day at NIU stopped by to get a glimpse of the 2011 Huskie football team. The Huskies also had another visitor whose face is more familiar around the NIU Convocation Center than on the turf at Huskie Stadium as men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery stopped by. Montgomery and NIU football coach Dave Doeren chatted for a few minutes during practice, no doubt comparing notes about their transitions as first-year head coaches at NIU.

MAC ANNOUNCES NEW BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT FORMAT

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MONTGOMERY DESTINED TO BE A COACH

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While the beginning of football around the country grabs most of the headlines this time of year, Scott Held of the Southgate (Mich.) News Herald caught up with new NIU basketball head coach Mark Montgomery. A four-year starter at Aquinas High School in Southgate, coaches could see from an early age that Montgomery had the demeanor of a coach on the floor, as Montgomery's high school coach Ernie Price told the News Herald.


NEW MEN'S BASKETBALL ADDITION

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Congratulations to Huskie men's basketball assistant coach Todd Townsend on the birth of his daughter, Leila Rae Townsend. Leila Rae came into the world late last night weighing nearly seven pounds and measuring 19.5 inches and is doing well. Congrats to Coach Townsend on the birth of the newest Huskie!
 

SILAS READY FOR NBA DRAFT

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With the NBA Draft just two days away, former Huskie Xavier Silas has finished his whirlwind spring and early summer filled with pre-draft camps and workouts. The Austin, Texas native worked out for 10 NBA teams in his preparation for the draft and could become the first NIU player selected in the NBA Draft since Tim Dillon was selected in the third round of the 1984 draft by the Chicago Bulls. Gareth Sleger of the Rockford Register Star caught up with Silas to talk about his workouts and his prospects for Thursday night's draft.

FRESH FACES ON CAMPUS

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Today is the beginning of the summer semester of classes at NIU and most of the Huskie men's basketball team has arrived on campus to take classes and get a jump on preparation for the upcoming season. For the newcomers, it is also a chance to become more familiar with campus and their surroundings in DeKalb. With seven signees joining the program this season, there are plenty of new faces moving into the dorms and getting ready to begin college life at NIU.


FOLLOW COACH MONTGOMERY ON TWITTER

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NIU Men's Basketball Head Coach Mark Montgomery has joined the Twitter universe. You can find Coach Montgomery at twitter.com/NIUCoachMonty to keep up with all of the tweets of the new Huskie head coach. Coach Monty has been on Twitter for less than 24 hours but check out his thoughts about the NBA Playoffs.


MONTGOMERY CHANGING THE CULTURE

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Early morning workouts and a "boot camp approach." Those things are just a part of the makeover going on with the NIU men's basketball program as chronicled by Steve Megargee of Rivals.com. It hasn't been unusual to see new head coach Mark Montgomery join in the squad while lifting weights or jump into a basketball drill, things that are all a part of bringing a new attitude to Huskie Hoops.


HUSKIE CARAVAN IN ROCKFORD TODAY!

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NIU fans in the Rockford area!  The Huskie Spring Coaches' Caravans are at the Rockford Country Club in Rockford today participating in the Rockford Executive Club's annual golf outing. NIU head football coach Dave Doeren, who is playing at the event, will be speaking at the dinner after golf. New NIU head men's basketball coach Mark Montgomery will be speaking at the event as well. Many of the local TV stations are going to be out there interviewing the two new Huskie head coaches. Be sure to check your local sports broadcasts tonight.

MEN'S BASKETBALL IN THE NEWS

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The most recent signee for the NIU men's basketball program, Andre Henley, was recently named as the third-best in-state recruit likely to make an immediate impact by ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers. Powers talked about the skill set that Henley will bring to NIU that isn't seen often in the MAC. Elsewhere, Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle checked in with head coach Mark Montgomery on the progress that has been made since his hiring in late March.  


HEAR NIU LIVE TONIGHT AT 11 P.M.

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Northern Illinois head coaches Dave Doeren and Mark Montgomery join NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher and host Andy Garcia for tonight's installment of "NIU Live." It's the last show of the 2010-11 academic year and the crew had plenty to talk about, including Saturday's Spring Football Game and Montgomery's first basketball recruiting class.  Tune in to 670 AM The Score tonight (Wednesday, April 20) at 11 p.m. for the final NIU Live of the season!

MONTGOMERY GOES TO WORK

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Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun-Times blogs about new NIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery getting down to business running his new program. Henricksen talks about the relationship Montgomery and his staff have already begun cultivating in the area and building excitement for NIU basketball.

Don't forget that you can catch Coach Montgomery, as well as NIU football coach Dave Doeren, this afternoon on 670AM The Score as they broadcast live from Fatty's in DeKalb from 1-6 p.m.


NIU HAS A DOG IN THE RACE

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Do you want to know why there is no playoff in Division I college football? This article is a perfect example. The day before the Final Four, Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal is talking college football. Everson filled out a bracket, substituting the basketball teams with football teams, and guess which one of the teams is in his Final Four. That's right--your Northern Illinois Huskies!

NCAA Football Bracket.jpgEverson compared NIU to Butler, which is high praise considering the Bulldogs are making their second-straight Final Four appearance. The Huskies navigated a tough bracket, knocking off Notre Dame, Standford, LSU and Wisconsin, all without their head coach and offensive and defensive coordinators! (As you recall, former NIU head coach Jerry Kill left for Minnesota right after the MAC Championship and took Matt Limegrover and Tracey Claeys with him.)

The Huskies will take on Air Force in the first semifinal game of the day. NIU was the highest seed coming out of the Mid-American Conference and the only MAC team to advance past the first round. Toledo and Temple, No. 16 seeds, and Miami a 10 seed, were all bounced in the first round.

So, as I watch the rest of the tournament, I will be pulling for Butler to win it all.

MONTGOMERY MEETS THE COMMUNITY

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Members of the local community had the opportunity to meet new NIU men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery on Monday night at "Mark Madness" at the NIU Convocation Center. The DeKalb Daily Chronicle spoke to Montgomery following the event to get his reaction to the response he has received from the community. The Daily Chronicle's Ryan Wood also wrote about the excitement the community had for the new head coach. 

MONTGOMERY NAMED HEAD COACH

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Mark Montgomery was introduced yesterday as the new head coach of the NIU men's basketball program. Read the official announcement and watch the archive of the introductory press conference. See what Montgomery's colleagues and former players have to say about the hire on the Montgomery Fact Sheet.

Also, check out what the media had to say about the hiring of Montgomery. The DeKalb Daily Chronicle talks about Montgomery's initial excitement to see the Convocation Center and the NIU community. The Daily Chronicle also spoke with Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo about the readiness of his former associate head coach to take on the top job at NIU and shared its take on NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher's third major coaching hire in less than a year.

Elsewhere, the Daily Herald notes that Montgomery has a big fan in his former mentor Izzo and the Rockford Register Star talks about Montgomery's plans for building a winner at NIU. The Chicago Sun-Times notes Montgomery's previous success recruiting in the Chicagoland area ESPN's Scott Powers writes about Montgomery's belief that Huskie hoops is a sleeping giant and Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal shares the Michigan State side on the new head man at NIU.

A series of video interviews with Montgomery are also available around the web. David Kaplan of Comcast SportsNet Chicago had the opportunity to speak with the coach following his introduction. Montgomery also sat down with the Rockford-area television stations; you can see his interview with WTVO here, his WIFR interview here and his chat with WREX broken up into three parts here, here and here.

Don't forget that all members of the community and the Huskie family are welcome to come meet Coach Montgomery on Monday night when NIU hosts "Mark Madness" at the Convocation Center. The free event will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. in the main concourse of the Convocation Center, free light snacks and beverages will be provided.

LUX NAMED MERRILLVILLE HEAD COACH

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Former Huskies basketball player T.J. Lux, the all-time leading scorer in NIU basketball history, was recently named boys basketball head coach at Merrillville High School in his hometown of Merrillville, Ind. Lux, who graduated from Merrillville in 1995, had been an assistant for the Pirates for the last three seasons. Lux scored 1,996 points in his career at NIU and was a three-time Academic All-American.


FUTURE HUSKIE TO PLAY TONIGHT AT THE CONVO

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Before NIU basketball signee Zach Miller plays for the Huskies at the Convocation Center this fall, Miller will help lead his Glenbard East High School team at the Convo tonight. Miller and the Rams will take on Rockford Auburn in the 4A Super-Sectional at 8 p.m. In the Sectional Final, Miller scored 22 points and dished out 12 assists as Glenbard East defeated East Aurora 80-62.

DOUBLE DOUBLEHEADER SATURDAY

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This weekend in NIU Athletics is an interesting scheduling anomaly. Saturday, the men's and women's basketball teams will be facing Toledo in a doubleheader action. The women play host to the Rockets in a key Mid-American Conference West battle. Tip off for Saturday's contest, which is also Senior Day and NIU PinkZone game, is set for 3 p.m. As fans are leaving the Convocation Center, they can turn to 1360 AM WLBK and probably catch Bill Baker's pregame show prior to the start of the men's basketball contest at Toledo. The men's game begins at 6 p.m.

While it isn't that unusual for two teams in the same conference to be playing each other in two different sports on the same day, it is unique when the same schools from two different conferences square off in doubleheader action. That will be the case Saturday in Lubbock, Texas as the baseball team faces Texas Tech at 12 p.m., while the softball team, which is in Lubbock for the Jeannie McHaney Memorial Classic hosted by Texas Tech, will face the No. 21 Red Raiders at 4 p.m.

Fans can watch Saturday' women's basketball game through Huskie All-Access and both of softball's games with Texas Tech through RaiderVision All-Access.

SILAS THRIVES AT NIU

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Xavier 5.jpgJeff Borzello of CBSSports.com features Xavier Silas and San Jose State's Adrian Oliver, both of whom rank in the top 10 in the nation in scoring following transfers during their career. In just two seasons at NIU, Silas has scored 1,072 points, becoming just the third Huskie to score 1,000 points in two seasons at NIU.

RUCKER'S ROAD

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Nate-Rucker.jpgIn case you missed it over the weekend, Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle filed this outstanding feature story on Northern Illinois men's basketball freshman Nate Rucker. In the story, Wood talks about Rucker's trials growing up in Memphis, Tenn., the role his parents played in his development as a person and a man and his path to NIU. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011 HASF KICKOFF

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Dave Doeren at HASF.jpgThe Huskie Athletic Support Fund held its annual HASF Kickoff in Victor E. Court prior to the men's basketball game with Kent State Feb. 12. NIU head football coach Dave Doeren and head volleyball coach Ray Gooden spoke to the hundreds of NIU donors in attendance. It was the beginning of a full day of activities at the NIU Convocation Center. Here's a Photo Gallery of some of the highlights from the day's events.


Baseball Season is Here!

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Etch.jpegPitchers and catchers reported for Major League Baseball's 2011 season on Sunday and Monday.  But entire college baseball teams, the Huskies included, reported a long time ago to prepare for the 2011 campaign.  NIU throws the first pitch of the year Friday against Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah.  Stay tuned to NIUHuskies.com this week for the release of the 2011 iGuide, season outlook and preview of the Southern Utah three-game weekend series.  The 2011 baseball season is underway this week!

THE WORK ETHIC OF SILAS

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Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune features Xavier Silas and how he has become one of the elite scorers in the nation through hard work and the influences of NBA stars such as Chauncey Billups and Kevin Love. Silas and the Huskies begin a four-game homestand on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the NIU Convocation Center against Kent State.

SILAS' STOCK RISING

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Xavier Silas.jpgXavier Silas is putting together an outstanding season for Northern Illinois. The second leading scorer in the country, Silas is averaging 24.2 points a game and has led the Huskies in scoring in 18 of the Huskies' 21 games this season. As Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star reports, Silas is getting plenty of attention from NBA scouts.


BUSY WEEKEND WRAP-UP

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Gymnastics Team
"Perfect premeet huddle form on three.... 1, 2, 3 - PERFECT PREMEET HUDDLE FORM!"

What a hugely busy weekend in Huskie Athletics... let's recap.

- The NIU men's basketball team defeated Toledo, 64-54, to move to 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Coverage from HuskieWire.com and NIUHuskies.com as well as the box score.

- Rasheta Butler set a new NIU school record for the 200-meter dash.

- Holly Reichard won three events for the Huskie gymnastics squad (read about it).

- Bryan Deutsch won his fifth straight match, defeating Ohio's Casey Gordon by major decision.

- Courtney Shelton scored a career-high 29 points, including 12 in 46 seconds near the end of NIU women's basketball's 71-67 loss to Western Michigan. The Rockford Register-Star was there with this report, and you can peek at the final stats.

X MARKS THE SPOT

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Xavier Silas led NIU to a 71-69 victory last night at Eastern Michigan with 31 points, including 6-of-6 from beyond the three-point line. For his efforts, Silas was named FoxSports.com's Mid-Major Stud of the Night. Silas and the Huskies return home to the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday when they host Toledo at 3:30 p.m., the game is part of a doubleheader with the NIU women who play Western Michigan at 1 p.m.

Silas was also featured recently on the Mid-American Conference Fast Break video series.

NIU-Basketball-Mens-and-Womens-Graphic.jpgBoth the NIU men's and women's basketball teams are in action tonight as they play their last games before starting Mid-American Conference play.  The men face Iowa State on the road at 7 p.m. tonight, while the women host intrastate rival Illinois State at the NIU Convocation Center at 7 p.m.  For a preview of each game, click here: Men | Women.  To follow live stats, click here: Men | Women.  Both Huskie teams will be looking for their second straight win!

After tonight's action, the women have just one day to prepare for their MAC opener against Eastern Michigan at the NIU Convocation Center Wednesday at 7 p.m.  The men will also start the conference schedule at home, doing so Saturday at 3 p.m. versus Ball State.

Don't miss the exciting hardwood action this week!  As always, students can attend for free by showing a valid NIU student ID.  To purchase tickets, click here

NIU MEN'S HOOPS PREVIEW

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The Mid-American Conference released its preseason poll and preseason All-MAC team yesterday and Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune wrote this preview story on the upcoming 2010-11 season in today's paper.

Silas gives NIU hope

Preseason All-MAC selection averaged 19.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season

Darion Anderson, Xavier Silas

Northern Illinois' Darion Anderson talks to Xavier Silas. (Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press / November 13, 2009)


His team was under .500 last season and is decidely below the radar for the upcoming season, but Northern Illinois coach Ricardo Patton is as optimistic as most coaches this time of year.

"I think we have just as good a chance as anyone at this point," Patton said Thursday.

Chief among the reasons for Patton's positive outlook is 6-foot-5 senior guard Xavier Silas, who returns after averaging 19.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.

Silas was selected as a member of the preseason All-Mid-American Conference team.

SUNDANCE LEARNS A NEW SPORT

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Sundance Wicks, men's basketball assistant and man of the world, learns some new tricks on the volleyball court, courtesy of Coley and Dan Pawlikowski. The Pawlikowski's are assistant coaches for the NIU volleyball team, which is currently tearing up the competition with a 23-2 record. Boom. Shaka. Laka.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

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Former men's hoops standout and NIU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee T.J. Lux was featured in today's Northwest Indiana Times. Mike Nieto caught up with the former Huskie standout to reminisce about his time in DeKalb and find out what he's doing now in this feature.

HUSKIE MEN TIP-OFF PRACTICE

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The NIU men's basketball team opened practice over the weekend. Here's a report from the Huskies' first practice of 2010-11.

BENNETT FINDS A GREAT SHOOTER

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Kathi Bennett Rides Shooter
NIU head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett took her team out to visit head men's coach Ricardo Patton at a local ranch where Ricardo keeps his horse "Shooter." Kathi saddled up to give it a go (picture above). Five months into Kathi's stay in the Huskie basketball suite, the two are fast becoming BFFs. Earlier in the week, Kathi road Patton's infamous "Spider," a three-wheeled motorcycle. Word is she has already started saving for one of her own.

CHEMISTRY KEY FOR HUSKIE HOOPS

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Entering head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton's fourth season, a new theme has emerged amongst his players: chemistry. Few would doubt that the Huskies were a talented team last season, but as Jeremy Werner of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle points out in this article, the improved chemistry on the 2010-11 squad could be just the intangible NIU is looking for to bring the talent together. Here's brief snippet of Jeremy's article:

Patton said that though team chemistry is intangible, it can't be overrated.

"I think it's the hardest thing to achieve and maybe the most important thing," Patton said. "Every team's going to have guys that can shoot the basketball. Every team's going to have guys that can rebound, defend and different things. But if they don't get along, if they're not pulling in the same direction, they're always going to underachieve."