Huskies Host Kent State Wednesday in MAC Home Opener

GO HUSKIES Senior Aksel Bolin
GO HUSKIES
Senior Aksel Bolin
GO HUSKIES

Jan. 14, 2014

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Northern Illinois Huskies (7-7, 1-1 MAC) vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (10-5, 1-1 MAC)
Date / Time: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 / 7 p.m.
Site: NIU Convocation Center • DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin, Ill. • NIUTube (NIUHuskies.com)
Live Video: NIUHuskies.com
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Kent State leads 32-18
Last Meeting: Jan. 30, 2013 • NIU 67-65

WHAT'S TRENDING
• NIU ranks 37th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 64 points per game, and 37th in rebound margin, outrebounding its opponents by 5.9 boards per contest.
• The 36 points allowed by the Huskies last time out at Bowling Green were the fewest allowed by NIU during Mark Montgomery's tenure and the fewest since holding Akron to 30 in a 48-30 victory on Jan. 26, 1991.
• NIU is playing just its second home game since Dec. 5. The Huskies played six of their last seven on the road, going 4-3 over that stretch.
• In the last three games since returning to the starting lineup for an injured Dontel Highsmith, Aaric Armstead has averaged 8.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, while playing 27.3 minutes per contest.
• Senior Aksel Bolin is closing in on 100 career games played. Bolin has appeared in 97 games in his Huskie career, including 81 consecutive appearances. Bolin is averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during league play.
Darrell Bowie has scored in double figures seven times this season; he is also averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, eighth-best in the MAC. Bowie is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game in the last four contests.
Travon Baker has scored in double figures five times this season, including 13 points last time out against Bowling Green. Baker also leads the Huskies in steals.  
Aaron Armstead ranks 10th in the MAC in free-throw percentage, shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe.
• Leading scorer Dontel Highsmith will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season after tearing his ACL at Iowa State (Dec. 31).

ABOUT KENT STATE
• The Golden Flashes bring a 10-5 overall record to DeKalb, 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Wednesday will be Kent State's first road game in MAC play.
• Three players are scoring in double figures for Kent State, led by 11.9 points per game from Kris Brewer. Derek Jackson (10.9 ppg) and Darren Goodson (10.8 ppg) also score in double figures for the Golden Flashes.
• Kent State is second in the MAC in three-point shooting percentage at 35.2 percent (Toledo, 35.5 percent).
• Kent State has won 20-plus games in each of the past four seasons.
• The Huskies and Golden Flashes will meet twice this season due to the expanded 18-game conference format. The last time NIU and Kent State met twice was in 2009, when one of those meetings came in Cleveland in the conference tournament, 2006 was the last time they met twice in the regular season.

THE LAST MEETING
• NIU earned its first victory over Kent State since 2003 with a 67-65 win over the Golden Flashes on Jan. 30, 2013, at the NIU Convocation Center.
Abdel Nader scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Nader hit a pull-up jumper with 2.2 seconds left to break a tie and give the Huskies the victory.
• NIU jumped out to a lead as large as 11 in the first half, 29-18. Kent State tied the game four times but never led in the contest.
• Darren Goodson had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Flashes.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES
• Kent State leads the all-time series with Northern Illinois, 32-18, but NIU won last season's lone meeting, 67-65, in DeKalb (Jan. 30, 2013).
• Last season's win for the Huskies snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Golden Flashes. Prior to last season, NIU had not beaten Kent State since 2003.
• NIU has a 13-12 edge all-time in meetings in DeKalb, prior to last season's victory Kent State had won in eight-straight visits to DeKalb.
• Kent State has won 15 of the last 17 overall meetings between the Huskies and Golden Flashes.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
• NIU defeated Bowling Green, 45-36, to record its first victory over the Falcons at the Stroh Center and its first win at Bowling Green since 2006.
• The 36 points allowed by the Huskies were the fewest allowed by NIU during Mark Montgomery's tenure and the fewest since holding Akron to 30 in a 48-30 victory on Jan. 26, 1991.
• The Huskies allowed just 12 field goals, the fewest during Mark Montgomery's tenure at NIU.
• Bowling Green's 29.3 percent shooting from the field was the lowest by a Huskie opponent this season.
Travon Baker scored a game-high 13 points in the contest, including six in the final two minutes to help seal the victory.
• NIU trailed by one, 35-34, with just over three minutes remaining before outscoring Bowling Green 11-1 in the closing minutes to claim the victory.
• Three Huskies grabbed at least seven rebounds in the game, led by eight from Darrell Bowie and Jordan Threloff. Aksel Bolin also pulled down seven boards against the Falcons.