DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's basketball team welcomes perennial Mid-American Conference East Division contender, Ohio, to the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off.
The Huskies look to rebound from their 66-51 defeat at the hands of Miami (OH) on Wednesday (Jan. 30) night. Freshman guard Darion Anderson leads the Huskies in scoring with 9.7 points-per-game, while junior guard Jarvis Nichols is chipping in 9.6 points-per-game.
Ohio is riding a four-game winning streak, culminating with a 62-47 victory over Central Michigan on Tuesday (Jan. 29). Senior forward Leon Williams is averaging a double-double of 16.3 points and 10.1 rebounds-per-game, while frontcourt mate Jerome Tillman is averaging 13.7 points and 7.5 caroms-per-game.
All-Time Series: Ohio holds a 24-16 lead over the Huskies in their all-time series.
The Last Time: NIU freshman guard Cody Yelder posted a career-high 20 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line in the final minute, to help the visiting Huskies snap Ohio's 14-game home winning-streak with the 81-74 MAC victory over the Bobcats on February 10, 2007.
From Way Downtown: Senior forward Shaun Logan converted a career-best four three-pointers, all in the first half, in last season's win over Ohio.
Like Father, Like Son: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton is one of 13 coaches across America, whose son is playing for his squad. Michael Patton is a freshman point guard for the Huskies, who is averaging 6.8 points-per-game.
My Name Is: NIU freshman guard Darion Anderson also goes by the nickname, "Jake", short for his middle name, Jakeon.
BracketBusting: Northern Illinois' opponent for the Bracket Buster will be announced early next week.
From The Charity Stripe: Junior forward Sean Smith (11-for-11) and freshman guard Michael Patton (6-for-6) are each perfect from the free throw line in Mid-American Conference play.
Home Court Advantage: The Huskies have turned up the defensive pressure at the NIU Convocation Center this season, as Northern Illinois is holding opponents to 61.9 points-per-game.
Welcome Back Jake: Since his return to the starting line-up, freshman guard Darion Anderson is averaging 12.3 points-per-game in NIU's last three contests. Anderson is also the only player in the MAC that is ranked in the top 10 in both rebounding (6.3, t-10th) and assists (2.86, t-9th) in conference play.
Streakin': Dating back to the 2003 campaign, Northern Illinois has won its last four contests against Ohio at the NIU Convocation Center.
Streakin' (Part Deux): Michael Patton's three-pointer with 3:48 left in Wednesday's contest against Miami (OH), helped extend NIU's consecutive games with a trey to 270. Patton has knocked down 23 three-pointers this season, the most by a freshman since teammate Zach Pancratz had 28 during the 2004-05 campaign.
Fine Freshman: Huskie guard Darion Anderson is second among MAC freshmen in scoring (as of Jan. 30), as he is averaging 9.7 points-per-game. Bowling Green's Chris Knight tops the MAC with 11.2 points-per-game.
Injury Report: Senior swingman Ben Rand is out indefinitely with plantar facsciitis in his left foot.
Scorin' And Passin': Freshman guard Darion Anderson currently leads the Huskies in both scoring (9.7 ppg.) and assists (2.4 apg.). The last player to do that in NIU history was Mike Lipnisky (13.9 ppg., 2.2 apg.) during the 1992-93 campaign.
Blazin' Bench: The NIU bench outscored the Huskie starters 41-22 in the 77-63 loss to Central Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 18), marking the seventh time this season, the most in NIU Division I history, that the reserves have accomplished that feat. As a team, NIU's bench is averaging 27.6 points-per-game.
Paradise Lost: NIU senior guard Ryan Paradise announced on January 11 that he would hang up his No. 10 jersey due to the pain from the numerous injuries that he has sustained throughout his tenure as a Huskie.
Recruiting Class: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton has inked four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, including guards Mike Dinunno (Chicago, Ill./Von Steuben), Bryan Hall (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), Dominique Johnson (Detroit, Mich./Southwest Tennessee C.C.) and forward Tyler Storm (Geneseo, Ill./Geneseo) to play for the Huskies in 2008.
Freshman `20': With his 20 point performance against Western Michigan on January 5, guard Michael Patton became NIU's second freshman this season, joining Darion Anderson (23 points, Indiana State, Nov. 20; 22 points, Central Michigan, Jan. 19), to reach the 20-point plateau. The last time NIU had two freshmen each score at least 20 points in a game during a season was during the 1973-74 campaign, when both Carroll Holmes and Ricky Hicks each accomplished that feat.
Are You Experienced?: Of NIU's 11 active players, the Huskies have seven student-athletes who are in their first season of Division I basketball.
Lost Long Range: Senior Zach Pancratz is sitting out the 2007-08 season after undergoing left shoulder surgery to correct continued instability in his non-shooting arm. Last season, Pancratz led NIU with 51 trifectas.
Up Next: Northern Illinois rounds out its three-game home stretch on Tuesday, Feb. 5, as the Huskies welcome Buffalo for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip-off at the NIU Convocation Center.