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Northern Illinois senior student-athletes Lauren
Eberts (women's soccer), Samantha Grams (volleyball), Shaakira Haywood (women's
basketball), Jenelle McCalla (track & field) and Amanda Sheppard (softball)
have been honored as 2013 Outstanding Women Student Awards for their
contributions to Northern Illinois University. Awarded annually since 1980, the
honor is given by the NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of Women to 48
women across all disciplines. Eberts, who has a 3.762 GPA in public health, played
in every minute of the team's 2012 season. The senior defender helped NIU allow
the fewest goals in the Mid-American Conference and the second-fewest shots on
goal in NIU's program history. Grams maintains a 3.805 GPA as a health sciences
major. The Forest Park, Ill., native earned Academic
All-MAC honorable mention laurels during her senior campaign with the Huskies
after playing in 24 matches and 62 sets in 2012. Grams totaled 28 kills, 39
blocks and 14 digs during the year, scoring 48 total points during the season. Haywood has a 3.687 GPA in psychology.
in all 30 games, starting 12 at center in 2012-13 and has played in 37 straight
games dating back to February of 2012. Haywood scored a career-high 73 points,
averaging 2.4 points a game, shooting 43.3 percent (26-60) on the season. McCalla, who has a perfect 4.0 GPA in psychology, holds the NIU school
record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:01.76. This year, the Whitby,
Ontario, Canada, native qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in the 60
hurdles, while also contributing on NIU's 4x400 relay teams. Sheppard has a 3.495 GPA in kinesiology and helped the Huskies reach
the 2013 MAC Championship game. The Oak Forest, Ill., native batted .298 and
ranked second on the team with a .470 slugging percentage, while playing in all
57 games. Sheppard also was second on the team with 18 extra-base hits,
including a team-best 12 doubles and five home runs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wiener averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in her four-year career at Northern. As a senior, she averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to earn third team All-MAC honors. She ranks 14th in career scoring at NIU and sits in 14th for career rebounding. An honorable mention All-MAC honoree as a junior, she led the Huskies in rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots each of her last two seasons in DeKalb.
After her time at NIU, the Apple Valley, Minn., native played three seasons professionally in Spain and one in Portugal. Following her professional career, Wiener landed an internship with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.
She torched the NIU Convocation Center nets to become the 25th member of NIU women's basketball's 1,000-point club, and now Jessie Wilcox (2005-09) will put her experience and expertise as a player to use on the other side of the sport -- coaching. The former standout Huskie guard was recently named head varsity girls basketball coach at Rosary High School in nearby Aurora, Ill.
You can see why NIU women's basketball Head Coach Kathi Bennett was interested in Howards Grove's (Wis.) guard Alexis Lindstrom. Bennett preaches defense and her trademark "pack" philosophy. Lindstrom was just named Wisconsin Sports Network's top senior Defensive player. Sounds like a great fit!
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.
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.
By Jeremy Reid on March 7, 2012 10:11 AM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's not too often that your top two scorers are freshmen. That's the case for the 2011-12 NIU women's basketball team as rookies Amanda Corral (9.5 PPG) and Claire Jakubicek (10.9 PPG) pace the Huskie scoring attack. For second-year Head Coach Kathi Bennett and the Huskies, this odd fact bodes well for the future of the program, as highlighted by today's article in the Northern Star by Eli Gehn.
If you were at the NIU-Ohio women's basketball game on Saturday, you may have noticed the surplus in kids both on and off the court. That's because it was Kids Day at the Convo. The annual event gave any of the kids in attendance an inside look at an NIU basketball game as they served as reporters, team managers, event staff, etc. While they had a great time during a 50-46 NIU victory, two kid reporters put the day into words in their recap stories below.
The first comes to us from Evelyn Adams: DeKALB, Ill. -Huskies beat Bobcats 50 to 46.The Huskies led throughout the game, but ran into a little bit of trouble towards the end.They also ran into foul trouble early on.Overall, the Huskies played a very nice game.Northern Illinois fought hard and defeated Ohio.GO NIU.Another Huskies victory.
The second comes to us from Erik Books:
DeKALB, Ill. - Huskies won 50-46! Wow, did you see Kim Davis take that hit in the first period? The Huskies were making baskets all over the place! After the game I got to sit down with Kathi Bennettand she talked about how the game went along. During the game I saw some roughness out on the court. When I was in media room I heard the Huskies screaming very, very loud in the locker room because they won. I also talked to Semeka Randall and she said her big shooters did not step up and play. She also looked very sad. She went a lot faster than Kathi Bennett did. Out on the court I think there were more fouls than usual this time. I personally think the Huskies played great today. If there are any Ohio fans out there reading this theyare most likely to be unhappy. The game was similar to my game Saturday morning, except there was less diving for the ball and less stealing in the Huskies game. Today my favorite player was Kim Davis because she worked her butt off getting the ball in the hoop!
Thanks for the submissions and great work, Evelyn and Erik!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Second-year NIU women's basketball Head Coach Kathi Bennett has had an interesting journey throughout her 20-plus years of coaching. Whether it be winning, losing, garnering individual accolades, surviving a nasty car wreck, or keeping her faith with God, the daughter of coaching legend Dick Bennett has nearly seen it all. The Christian Sports Press recently chronicled Bennett's journey and faith. Click here to read.
The Northern Star's Matt Hopkinson takes a look at NIU women's basketball's 2011-12 back court in today's paper. With All-MAC selection Marke Freeman moving on due to graduation, the Huskies will look to senior Courtney Shelton to solidify a young group of guards. Click here to read all about it.
Today, the Mid-American Conference released its preseason women's basketball picks, as voted on by the league's coaches and select media. The Huskies were tabbed to finish fourth in the West Division, while Toledo was chosen to win the West and the MAC Tournament. Bowling Green was the choice to claim the East Division. For the complete picks and to see the Preseason All-MAC Teams, click here.
During Tuesday's NIU Basketball Media Day, the Daily Chronicle's John Sahly caught up with second-year women's basketball head coach Kathi Bennett and asked about the Huskies' competitive status in Year 2. Bennett's answer was simple: "We have a group of kids who are all, I say highly competitive but I
don't know what the word is, but man, none of them want to lose. None of
them want to be sitting. They fight to stay on the floor."
Competitiveness will not be a problem for the 2011-12 Huskies. Click here to read Sahly's article and find out more about what the Huskies are bringing to the table this year.
If 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:
women's basketball head coach Kathi Bennett will be one of two speakers
at the 39th annual South Suburb Illinois Basketball Coaches Association
(IBCA) Fall Clinic on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at
Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Ill. Bennett will mainly
discuss her signature defensive philosophy. Also speaking will be
retired St. Francis coach and IBCA Hall of Famer Pat Sullivan. Click here for more information about the clinic.
On Monday, former NIU women's basketball standout Marke Freeman (2008-11) inked a professional deal to play in the PLKK, a Polish basketball league, with Tecza Leszno. She left for Poland yesterday to join her former teammate Ebony Ellis (2007-11), who signed with the PLKK's Odra Brzeg in August. Recently, the 26th member of NIU's 1,000-point club was featured in The State Journal-Register by Marcia Martinez. Click here to read.
The Mid-American Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments will see a change for the 2011-12 season, the league announced today. Under a new format, both the men's and women's top two
seeds will receive byes to the Semifinals, with the third and fourth seeds receiving
byes to the Quarterfinals. Click here to see the full announcement.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary season, the Summit League has announced its list of Top 30 Distinguished Contributors from the Division I era. Among to top 30 was former Huskie E.C. Hill, who set the nets on fire during here career as a guard on the women's basketball team from 1992-94.
Hill is an NIU Athletics and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association
Hall of Famer and her name can be found throughout the Northern Illinois
women's basketball record book. She helped lead the Huskies to three
straight NCAA Tournament berths under NIU Hall of Fame coach Jane
She was named a first-team United States Basketball Writers
Association All-American, Kodak District Four All-America, preseason
Street and Smith's and Basketball Times All-American, Mid-Continent
Conference Player of the Year, first-team All-Mid-Con, and All-Mid-Con
Tournament on a 25-6 NCAA Tourney squad that won the 1993-94 Mid-Con
regular-season title with an 18-0 record, led the league and ranked 16th
nationally in scoring (22.0 ppg.).
By Joe Summins on May 19, 2011 10:27 AM
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.
The future keeps looking brighter for NIU women's basketball, as two of the three recruits Kathi Bennett inked last November were named to the Chicago Tribune's All-State teams today. Claire Jakubicek earned Third Team recognition while Natecia Augusta garnered Special Mention recognition.
As a 6'0" guard/forward for Cary-Grove, Jakubicek averaged 19.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 3.7 steals per game and shot 49 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free-throw line. She finished her career as Cary-Grove's career scoring (1,700 points) and rebound (795 rebounds) leader.
Augusta led Limestone to a regional final appearance in her final prep season. The 6'0" forward is the No. 2 ranked forward and No. 12 overall player in Illinois, as rated by ESPN HoopGurlz.
By Joe Summins on March 3, 2011 2:19 PM
It's Mid-American Conference championship time in DeKalb and "NIU Live" is your source for all the latest information. Northern Illinois University women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett joins host Andy Garcia and Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher on tonight's installment of "NIU Live" (670 AM WSCR, Midnight). The trio discuss NIU hosting a first round game of the 2011 MAC Women's Basketball Tournament versus Ohio Sunday night at the NIU Convocation Center (7 p.m., 1360 AM WLBK).
Sunday's women's basketball game caps off a weekend of MAC Championship action at the Convo. The MAC's six wrestling teams take over the Convocation Center Saturday and Sunday afternoon for the right to claim the MAC Wrestling Championship. Compher talks about what it means for NIU to host both events.
By Joe Summins on February 25, 2011 12:50 PM
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.
By Russell Houghtaling on February 15, 2011 11:34 AM
Check out this in-depth interview with NIU head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett on what drives her on and off the court, why she became a coach, and how she makes a difference in players' lives every day. This is just a snippet from the NIU Women's Basketball iGuide.
By Joe Summins on February 10, 2011 5:36 PM
Throughout the 2010-11 basketball season, the Mid-American Conference will be posting the "MAC Fast Break" video series featuring the conference's student-athletes and coaches. NIU head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett is featured in today's edition. Bennett and the Huskies travel to Buffalo Saturday. Tip off is set for 11 a.m. and fans can watch the game live locally on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
By Russell Houghtaling on January 31, 2011 6:16 PM
The Northern Illinois women's basketball team surprised their coach Kathi Bennett with some birthday swag after today's practice. A giant personalized card, a billion flavors of gum, and a large Blizzard from DQ.
By Russell Houghtaling on January 29, 2011 12:36 PM
Kathi Bennett's Huskie women's basketball team is getting ready for tip-off at Ohio. The Huskies are getting dressed in the Ohio men's basketball team's locker room. The picture below is of the first thing you see when entering: the five cornerstones. Developed by Kathi Bennett's father, Dick Bennett, the five cornerstones are the foundation of several programs across the country, including John Groce's men's team at Ohio. A team that went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. They are of course, also the cornerstones of NIU's women's program. Kathi said it was "pretty cool" to see the influence on college basketball her father has had.
Congrats to first-year head coach Kathi Bennett and her staff for earning their first Mid-American Conference win last night at home versus Ball State! If you weren't in attendance for NIU women's basketball's triumphant game, you missed an exciting win and outstanding near-triple-double performance by guard Marke Freeman. The senior put up 30 points, eight rebounds and nine steals. Yes, nine steals. For a trio of descriptions of the game, read NIUHuskies.com's recap, Ryan Wood's recap for the Daily Chronicle, and Katie Leb's recap for the Northern Star.
- 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.
By Russell Houghtaling on January 5, 2011 9:17 AM
Make room for one more!
Congrats to Huskie women's basketball associate head coach Marsha Frese and her husband Jason Elliot. Marsha has, as the kids say, "a bun in the oven," and the Frese household will be adding a second child in the summer! The couple already has one, Kylan, who is five.
Incidentally, Kylan and NIU women's hoops senior Terriel Cannon got the same present for Christmas - a Ladybug Pillow Pet.
By Russell Houghtaling on January 4, 2011 2:47 PM
NIU head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett's dad, Dick Bennett, stopped by the Huskies' pregame meal Tuesday to give the team a pregame talk. The elder Bennett, a 300-game winner like his daughter, talked to the team about the importance of humility and passion. Take a look -
Both 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.
With all the football buzz, it would be easy to miss this article John Sahly filed on the NIU women's basketball team's start under first-year head coach Kathi Bennett. Here's an appetizer to entice you for the full meal:
Defensively, Bennett said from the day she was hired that NIU's identity would be on defense. So far, it's been a process. The Huskies started Sunday in the middle of the pack in scoring defense in the conference.
"I almost feel like, to be honest with you, the winning hurt us," Bennett said. "And the UIC loss helped us. From that loss, I felt it turn a little bit. The best game was the Northern Iowa game (a 71-64 road win), by far. I thought the UIC game, you always want to learn from a loss, and that humbled us a little bit."
The Huskies are 5-4, and continue non-conference play at Northwestern, Wednesday.
By Russell Houghtaling on November 22, 2010 5:34 PM
With 1.8 seconds left, the NIU women's basketball team trailed 43-45 to Southern Illinois. The Huskies won the game on this miraculous shot by Courtney Shelton. The Rockford native finished the game with a career-high 21 points, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field.
By Russell Houghtaling on October 19, 2010 2:47 PM
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.
Huskie women's basketball player Bianca Brown, aka hip-hop artist Lyrik, is performing tonight at the House Café. Brown is one of multiple artists playing tonight in the FREE, FREE, FREE show. The event, dubbed "El Mensaje" (The Message), is in honor of Latino Heritage Month. Check out details on El Mensaje and The House Cafe.
By Russell Houghtaling on October 5, 2010 8:49 AM
The NIU women's basketball team had its first practice under new head coach Kathi Bennett, Monday. John Sahly of the Daily Chronicle was there and wrote this story. You can check out the NIUHuskies.com story as well.
You can also watch the video recap, courtesy of NIUHuskies.com, above.