Huskies Return Home to Host Central Michigan



Jan. 13, 2012

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Northern Illinois Huskies (1-13, 0-2 MAC) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (7-8, 2-0 MAC)
Date: Saturday January 14, 2012
Tipoff: 3:30 p.m.
Location: NIU Convocation Center • DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM in DeKalb and WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet
Live Stats:

The Match-Up
Northern Illinois returns home to host Central Michigan after playing its first Mid-American Conference road game this past Wednesday. The contest with the Chippewas will be the first of two meetings between the two teams, with NIU traveling to Mount Pleasant on Sunday, Feb. 26. Last season, Central Michigan won a pair of close meetings, edging the Huskies 66-64 in Mount Pleasant and nipping NIU 64-58 in DeKalb.

About Central Michigan
The Chippewas bring a 7-8 overall record to DeKalb, 2-0 in MAC play, having defeated Toledo and Eastern Michigan in their first two conference games. Trey Zeigler, the son of head coach Ernie Zeigler, leads Central Michigan in scoring and rebounding at 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Derek Jackson averages 11.5 points and freshman Austin McBroom scores 10.4 points per contest. Central Michigan is the third-best three-point shooting team in the MAC, shooting 35.7 percent from behind the arc.

Against the Chippewas
Northern Illinois holds a 48-44 edge in the all-time series against Central Michigan. The Chippewas have won the last two against the Huskies, both coming last year, by a combined eight points, NIU’s last victory in the series came on Feb. 24, 2010, a 67-65 triumph in DeKalb. The Huskies hold a 34-12 advantage all-time in meetings played in DeKalb.

Toler Heating Up
Early in conference play, Tim Toler is finding his range from beyond the three-point arc, shooting 66.7 percent from three-point range, including a career-best five triples at Western Michigan (Jan. 11), tied for third-best in the MAC. Toler also heated up from beyond the arc last season in conference play when he shot 47.4 percent, third-best in the league in 2010-11.  

Sharing the Sugar
In its two conference games, NIU has had assists on 63.2 percent of its made field goals, second-best in the MAC, Western Michigan leads the conference with assists on 63.3 percent of their made field goals. The Huskies had 12 assists on 14 makes against Eastern Michigan (Jan. 7) and followed up with 12 on 24 makes against Western Michigan (Jan. 11).

MAC and Trophies Available for Pictures
At Saturday’s NIU men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader fans will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the MAC Football Championship and Bowl Trophies. The Huskie football team completed its 2011 season on Jan. 8 with a 38-20 win over Arkansas State in the Bowl, finishing the season with an 11-3 record.

Chippewa Connections
NIU head coach Mark Montgomery and assistant coach Jon Borovich each have strong ties to Central Michigan. Montgomery began his coaching career as an assistant at CMU, spending four seasons with the Chippewas from 1997-2001, helping the school win the Mid-American Conference regular season championship in his final season. Borovich played at CMU during the same four-year time period.

Looking Ahead
NIU will return to the road on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when the Huskies travel to Toledo to play the Rockets. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.



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