Huskies Travel to Kent for Rematch with Golden Flashes

GO HUSKIES Junior Pete Rakocevic
GO HUSKIES
Junior Pete Rakocevic
GO HUSKIES

Jan. 28, 2014

Game Notes in PDF Get Acrobat Reader

Northern Illinois Huskies (7-11, 1-5 MAC) at Kent State Golden Flashes (11-8, 2-4 MAC)
Date / Time: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 / 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET)
Site: M.A.C. Center • Kent, Ohio
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Ohio) • CSN Chicago • WatchESPN.com
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • NIUTube (NIUHuskies.com)
Live Stats: KentStateSports.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Kent State leads 33-18
Last Meeting: Jan. 15, 2014 • Kent State, 73-64 (ot)

DID YOU KNOW?
• NIU is playing its seventh conference game, and it’s six against MAC East foes. Following Wednesday’s contest at Kent State, NIU will play nine of its final 11 league games against the MAC West, with only a home game against Miami (Feb. 4) and a trip to Akron (Feb. 15) left against the MAC East.
Aksel Bolin scored 17 points last time out against Buffalo (Jan. 25), one off of his career-high. Bolin went 6-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, against the Bulls.
Travon Baker has scored in double figures in five consecutive games, and eight of the last 10. Baker is averaging 11.7 points per game in conference play.
• Baker recorded a career-high five steals last time out against Buffalo (Jan. 25). Baker ranks fourth in the MAC in steals per game in conference play, averaging 2.2 per contest.
Darrell Bowie has scored in double figures nine times this season; he is also averaging 6.8 rebounds per game, 10th-best in the MAC.
Aaron Armstead is shooting 82.6 percent from the free-throw line, seventh-best in the MAC.
• NIU ranks 56th nationally in rebounding margin (+4.8) and 67th in scoring defense (65.9 ppg).
Aksel Bolin has appeared 101 games during his NIU career, including 85 consecutive contests and has not missed a game since Feb. 15, 2011 at Western Michigan. The NIU record for career games played in 117, by Anthony Maestranzi and Todd Peterson (2002-06).
• NIU has played the most difficult conference schedule in the country, according to ESPN.com’s Daily RPI. The Huskies rank No. 1 nationally in Conference Strength of Schedule. Central Michigan is second in the MAC, 43rd nationally.
• The Huskies have lost 31 man games due to injury this season, not including redshirts, and are currently dressing just eight scholarship players.

ABOUT KENT STATE
• The Golden Flashes are 11-8 overall, 2-4 in Mid-American Conference play. Kent State has lost three-straight, falling at Buffalo (71-60), at home against Western Michigan (75-59) and at Toledo (81-78) last time out.
• Three players are averaging in double figures for the Golden Flashes, led by 12.6 points per game for Kris Brewer. Derek Jackson (10.9 ppg) and Darren Goodson (10.3 ppg) are also scoring in double figures.
• Kent State is second in the MAC in turnover margin in conference play, averaging 2.8 less turnovers per game than their opponents.

THE LAST MEETING
• Kent State outlasted NIU, 73-64, in overtime on Jan. 15 at the NIU Convocation Center. Devareaux Manley hit a triple in the final minute of regulation for the Golden Flashes to force overtime.
Aaron Armstead recorded his first career double-double in the first meeting, scoring a team-high 15 points with a career-high 10 rebounds.
Travon Baker (13) and Aaric Armstead (12) each scored in double figures for the Huskies.
• Kris Brewer scored a game-high 25 points to pace the Golden Flashes. Derek Jackson (14) and Devareaux Manley (10) also scored in double figures.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES
• Kent State leads the all-time series against NIU, 33-18. The Golden Flashes hold an 18-5 advantage all-time in meetings played in Kent.
• The Golden Flashes have won 12 of the last 13 in the series, with NIU’s only victory coming last season (Jan. 30, 2013) in DeKalb, 67-65.
• NIU’s last victory at Kent State came on Feb. 8, 2003, a 67-61 win. That victory, and last season’s win in DeKalb, are NIU’s only two wins over Kent State in the last 18 meetings.

LAST TIME OUT
Aksel Bolin scored a season-high 17 points, but NIU fell at home to Buffalo, 75-67.
Travon Baker scored 12 points, had a game-high five assists and a career-high five steals.
• Baker’s five steals were the most for a Huskie since Darion “Jake” Anderson recorded five against Central Michigan on Feb. 24, 2010.
• NIU shot a season-best 83.9 percent (26-of-31) as a team from the free-throw line. Travon Baker led the way, going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
• The Huskies posted a season-best 10 steals against the Bulls, led by Travon Baker’s career-high five.
• Buffalo shot 54.5 percent from behind the three-point arc, the highest percentage of the season by a NIU opponent.

COMING ALIVE IN LEAGUE PLAY
Travon Baker scored in double figures four times during non-conference play but has reached double figures five times in six conference contests. Baker is averaging 11.7 points per game in league play, 26th in the MAC; he averaged 7.7 per game in the non-conference slate.
• Baker has gotten to the free-throw line 33 times in five league games; he attempted 27 free throws in 12 non-conference games.
• Baker has 13 steals in conference action after registering 12 in non-league play. The Detroit native is currently fourth in the MAC in steals during conference play (2.2) and 12th overall (1.4).
Aksel Bolin is quietly producing more since the beginning of conference play. Bolin is averaging 8.8 points per game, and shooting 47.1 percent from three-point range, third-best in the MAC, after averaging just 4.5 points, and shooting just 21.1 percent from three, in pre-conference action.  
• Bolin is shooting 44.7 percent from the field during conference play after shooting just 35.4 percent from the field in non-league action.
• Bolin scored 17 points, one off of his career-high, against Buffalo (Jan. 25), including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Jordan Threloff is shooting 80 percent (16-of-20) from the charity stripe during conference play, tied for 12th-best in the MAC.
Aaron Armstead has pulled down 4.3 rebounds per game in the MAC after grabbing just 2.2 rebounds in the non-conference.



 

 

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