Jan. 11, 2010
CLEVELAND – Junior guard Xavier Silas is quickly becoming a familiar name at the Mid-American Conference headquarters. After averaging 24.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and three assists per game in a pair of road wins last week, Silas was named the MAC-West Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 10, the league office announced Monday morning.
Silas has now claimed two-straight Player of the Week plaudits, and has also chalked up one MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honor (Dec. 29, 2009). He is the first Huskie to earn back-to-back MAC Player of the Week honors since Matt Hicks accomplished the feat during the 1976-77 season (Feb. 1-Feb. 8, 1977).
Silas' scoring output came on a 40 percent (10-25) effort from the field, and a near 90 percent (.893) clip in 28 attempts from the free throw line. He also drilled four three-pointers.
In last Wednesday's 99-93 win at Chicago State, Silas scored a game-high 24 points, leading the Huskies in scoring for the fourth-consecutive game. Silas converted six field goals, and went 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out four assists in 30 minutes of action.
Against Ball State, Silas poured in 25 points, 20 in the second half, and recorded a single-game school record with a 15-for-15 effort from the free throw line. Silas scored 18 of NIU's final 21 points, including back-to-back field goals mid-way through the second-half that twice gave the Huskies a 14-point advantage. He also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, and had two assists with one steal in 34 minutes. The 62-48 win marked NIU's first series of back-to-back road wins since March 2006.
Silas' 25 points were a single-game high for a MAC player in the league's opening weekend of divisional play. He currently leads the Huskies in scoring at 19.1 points per game, is shooting a team-best 78.7 percent from the free throw line and is NIU's second-leading rebounder (5.8 rpg).
The Huskies will host Western Michigan in an early-season divisional showdown Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The Broncos enter the contest on a five-game winning streak, and the Huskies have won three-straight and four-of-five overall.