DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois looks to extend its home winning streak to four games as the Huskies welcome the Toledo Rockets for NIU's Mid-American Conference home opener at the Convocation Center on Sunday, January 13 for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off.
The Huskies (3-10, 0-1 MAC) are coming off of a 86-69 defeat at the hands of Western Michigan in their MAC opener on Saturday, January 5. Huskies' sixth man Jarvis Nichols leads the pack offensively, averaging 9.9 points-per-game for NIU.
Toledo (4-9, 1-0) was victorious in their MAC opener last Sunday, as the Rockets picked up the 58-54 win over visiting Ball State. Rockets junior guard Tyrone Kent leads the MAC in scoring at a clip of 18.3 points-per-game, while backcourt mate Jonathan Amos adds 11.8 points-per-game.
All-Time Series: Toledo holds a 37-16 lead over the Huskies in their all-time series.
The Last Time: Despite a double-double of 25 points and a career-high 14 rebounds from senior center James Hughes, Northern Illinois was unable to overcome 18 turnovers, as Toledo earned the 86-83 victory to clinch the MAC West on February 22, 2007.
MAC Home Openers: Northern Illinois has won two out of its last three Mid-American Conference openers with victories over Akron (2004-05), and Western Michigan (2006-07).
Home Winning Streak: With a victory over Toledo on Sunday, Northern Illinois will have its fourth straight home victory - the Huskies' longest since NIU accomplished that feat twice during the 2005-06 campaign.
Defensive Clamps: NIU's first six opponents of the season, each shot 50.0% or better against the Huskies. Since then, the Huskies have held five of their last seven opponents to under 40.0% shooting from the field.
Like Father, Like Son: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton is one of 13 coaches across America, whose son is playing for his squad. Michael Patton is a freshman point guard for the Huskies, who is averaging 6.5 points-per-game.
Streakin': NIU senior forward Shaun Logan has knocked down at least one trey in the last nine games. During that span, Logan is shooting 44.8% (13-for-29) from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Michael Patton is riding a six-game three-pointer streak and is shooting 41.7% (15-for-36).
Are You Experienced?: Of NIU's 11 active players, the Huskies have six student-athletes who are in their first season of Division I basketball.
Sixth Man: NIU junior guard Jarvis Nichols is second in the Mid-American Conference in scoring off the bench (as of January 10), as the Huskies' sixth man is chipping in 9.9 points-per-game. Buffalo's Sean Smiley has come off the bench in all 13 of the Bulls' contests and is averaging 10.3 points-per-game. Both Nichols and Smiley have started less than one-third of their squads' contests.
Bench Play: The NIU bench outscored the Huskie starters 45-30 in the 86-75 loss to Green Bay on December 22, marking the fifth time this season, the most in NIU Division I history, that the reserves have accomplished that feat. As a team, NIU's bench is averaging 27.8 points-per-game.
Productive Player: Senior forward Michael Hart is averaging 5.7 points and 11.8 minutes of action-per-game for the Huskies, which translates to a team-best 0.484 points-per-minute.
My Name Is: Freshman guard Darion Anderson also goes by the nickname "Jake".
Freshman `20': With his 20 point performance against Western Michigan last Saturday (January 5), guard Michael Patton became NIU's second freshman this season, joining Darion Anderson (23 points, Indiana State, Nov. 20), to reach the 20-point plateau. The last time NIU had two freshmen each score at least 20 points in a game during a season was during the 1973-74 campaign, when both Carroll Holmes and Ricky Hicks each accomplished that feat.
Fine Freshman: NIU rookie guard Darion Anderson is second among Mid-American Conference freshmen in scoring (as of Jan. 10), as he is averaging 8.9 points-per-game. Bowling Green freshman Chris Knight is tops in the MAC with 12.9 points-per-game.
Paradise Lost: NIU senior guard Ryan Paradise announced on Friday, January 11th that he would hang up his No. 10 jersey due to the pain from the numerous injuries that he has sustained throughout his tenure as a Huskie.
Calling All Alumni: NIU will hold its 8th Annual Alumni Day on February 2, prior to the Huskies' 2 p.m. showdown against Ohio. Doors will open at 10 a.m. with the Alumni game held at 11 a.m. at the NIU Convocation Center. For more information, contact NIU Director of Marketing Cindy Green at (815) 753-0369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recruiting Class: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton has inked four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, including guards Mike Dinunno (Chicago, Ill./Von Steuben), Bryan Hall (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), Dominique Johnson (Detroit, Mich./Southwest Tennessee C.C.) and forward Tyler Storm (Geneseo, Ill./Geneseo) to play for the Huskies in 2008.
Lost Long Range: Senior Zach Pancratz is sitting out the 2007-08 season after undergoing left shoulder surgery to correct continued instability in his non-shooting arm. Last season, Pancratz led NIU with 51 trifectas.
Time Change: Tip-off for Northern Illinois' contest against Akron on February 12 has been changed from 6 p.m. (CST) to 7 p.m. (CST) as the game is now a part of the Mid-American Conference television schedule.
Up Next: The Huskies welcome Eastern Michigan to the NIU Convocation Center on Wednesday (Jan. 16) for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip-off.