Huskies Begin MAC East Swing at Kent State



Jan. 24, 2012

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Northern Illinois Huskies (2-15, 1-4 MAC) at Kent State Golden Flashes (12-6, 2-3 MAC)
Date: Wednesday January 25, 2012
Tipoff: 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET)
Location: M.A.C. Center • Kent, Ohio
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM in DeKalb, WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet and WKRS 1220-AM in Waukegan
Live Stats:

The Match-Up
Northern Illinois begins play against the MAC East Division on Wednesday night when it travels to Kent State to meet the Golden Flashes. The contest will be the first of six-straight against MAC East foes. Abdel Nader enters Wednesday’s contest fresh off a career-best 26 points against Ball State, Nader has netted career-highs in two of the last three games, recording a then career-high 22 against Central Michigan (Jan. 14).

About Kent State
The Golden Flashes bring a 12-6 overall record, 2-3 in MAC play, into Wednesday’s game. Last season’s MAC Player of the Year Justin Greene leads Kent State, averaging 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Randal Holt is just behind Greene at 12.7 points per contest. Kent State is currently ranked 22nd in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll. Rob Senderoff is in his first season as head coach of the Golden Flashes, Senderoff had been an assistant at Kent State for seven seasons.  

Against the Golden Flashes
NIU trails the all-time series against Kent State, 31-17; the Golden Flashes hold a 17-5 edge in the all-time series in Kent. The Huskies will be seeking their first win over the Golden Flashes since a 67-61 road triumph on Feb. 8, 2003, Kent State has won the last 10 games in the series.

Nader’s Career Night
Abdel Nader scored a career-high 26 points against Ball State (Jan. 21), including 4-of-8 from behind the three-point arc. Nader has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games and is averaging 17.7 points per game over the last three contests. Nader is the second-leading scorer among freshmen in the MAC at 10.9 points per game, trailing Julius Brown of Toledo (12.2). The freshman from Skokie, Ill., also recorded a career-best four blocks against Ball State.

Finding His Groove
Stian Berg has grown into a larger role in the Huskie backcourt over the last four games. After averaging 1.3 points and 7.6 minutes per game during the first 13 games of the season, Berg has scored 7.3 points per contest while playing 24 minutes per game over the last four games. Berg is shooting 57.9 percent from the field in the last three, including 46.7 percent from behind the three-point arc. In his first career start against Central Michigan (Jan. 14), Berg scored a career-best 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range.

Going to the Glass
Northern Illinois ranks fourth in the MAC in rebounding offense (35.9) and third in rebounding defense (32.3). The Huskies are third in rebounding margin at +3.6. In conference play, NIU leads the league in rebounding defense (28.4) and ranks fourth in rebounding margin (+3.6). NIU has the best defensive rebounding percentage in the league, both overall (71.8) and in conference play (76.8).

Looking Ahead
NIU will return to DeKalb on Saturday, Jan. 28, when the Huskies host Buffalo at noon in the first game of a doubleheader that also features the NIU women hosting Kent State at 2:30 p.m.



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