Feb. 8, 2007
Northern Illinois at Ohio Game Notes in PDF Format
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DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's basketball team looks to continue its winning ways on Saturday (Feb. 10) afternoon, as the Huskies travel to Athens, Ohio to square off with the Ohio Bobcats for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off at Ohio's Convocation Center.
The Huskies (5-17, 2-8 MAC) snapped an eight-game losing streak on Wednesday (Feb. 7) night, as NIU rolled past Bowling Green for the 73-51 victory. NIU senior center James Hughes came off the bench to lead four Huskies in double-figures with a game-high 14 points, followed by 13 points from Zach Pancratz, 11 points from Ryan Paradise and 10 points from Shaun Logan.
Ohio is coming off a hard-fought 78-73 overtime road victory over Western Michigan on Tuesday (Feb. 6) night. Ohio junior guard Bubba Walther topped four Bobcats in double-figures with a game-high 20 points.
THE COACHES -- Rob Judson is in his sixth season at the helm of the NIU men's basketball team, and has a career-record of 72-95 including last season's Mid-American Conference West Division championship. Judson is 5-3 in eight appearances against Ohio. Ohio head coach Tim O'Shea is in his sixth year as the Bobcats' skipper and has led OU to a mark of 97-76 during his tenure. O'Shea is 3-5 all-time against the Huskies in eight appearances.
THE SERIES -- Ohio holds a 24-15 advantage over the Huskies' in their all-time series.
THE LAST TIME -- Ohio sophomore forward Leon Williams posted a game-high 20 points to help propel the host Bobcats to the 78-67 win over Northern Illinois on February 9, 2006. NIU senior forward Todd Peterson topped the Huskies with 17 points, while senior guard Cory Sims collected a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
FOUND 1,000 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney scored seven points in Wednesday's 73-51 victory over Bowling Green, pushing the Evanston, Ill., native over the 1,000 point club with 1,001 tallies. McKinney is the 26th Huskie in school-history to score 1,000 career points.
SEEKING 500 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney enters Saturday's contest with 473 rebounds. Should McKinney reach the 500 rebound mark this season, he will be the first player in NIU history, since assists were recorded, that collected 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists.
TREY BIEN -- NIU junior point guard Ryan Paradise has knocked down at least one three-pointer in the Huskies' last seven contests. During that stretch, Paradise has converted 50.0% (15-for-30) of his long-range attempts.
BRACKETBUSTER SHOWDOWN -- Northern Illinois learned on January 30th that the Huskies will battle UW-Green Bay in the 2007 O'Reilly ESPNU Bracketbusters on February 17th. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. at the NIU Convocation Center.
AND LOCHNER MAKES 11 -- Freshman center Mike Lochner made his first career start in a NIU uniform against Buffalo on February 3, marking the 11th Huskie to appear in the starting lineup this season. Lochner responded with a season-high four points in six minutes of action.
CRUNCH TIME-- NIU point guards Cody Yelder (6-for-6), Quintan Lipkins (5-for-5) and Ryan Paradise (4-for-4) are each perfect from the free throw line with less than two minutes remaining in the contest. As a team, NIU is shooting 55.7% (44-for-79) from the field in the final two minutes of a contest.
CRASHING THE BOARDS -- Junior guard / forward Zach Pancratz tied a career-best and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds against Akron on Jan. 24. With that outing Pancratz became the eighth Huskie this season to lead NIU in caroms, joining Egan Grafel, James Hughes, Bristan Kelley, Shaun Logan, Mike McKinney, Ryan Paradise and Ben Rand.
SHOOTING STROKE -- Senior center James Hughes is currently the school-record holder for career field-goal percentage, as the Silvis, Ill., native has converted 57.9% (377-for-651) of his career field-goal attempts.
BLOCK PARTY -- Senior center James Hughes currently sits in second place in Huskie history with 190 career blocks. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year needs 10 more swats for the school-record of 200, currently held by Allen Rayhorn (1978-82). Hughes has 44 blocks on the season, good for second most in school-history by a senior.
20/20 VISION -- A NIU player has tallied 20+ points in a half two times this season, as senior center James Hughes scored 24 of his career and game-high 27 points in the Huskies 72-70 loss against Georgia Southern on December 8th. Junior guard / forward Zach Pancratz accomplished that feat on December 2nd as he scored a career-high 22 points, including six treys, in the second half of NIU's 72-62 loss against Winthrop.
MAC TELECONFERENCE -- The MAC will hold a weekly teleconference for men's basketball coaches on Monday's during the basketball season. Each coach will be available for approximately seven minutes. The media session for NIU head coach Rob Judson begins at 9:16 a.m. (CST) every Monday. For information on how to join in on the teleconference, please contact NIU Assistant Media Relations Director Matt Brendich.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF VIEW -- Since being moved to the bench three games ago, NIU senior center James Hughes has averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds-per-game. The Silvis, Ill., native has also led the Huskies in scoring in each of the last two games.
MOVING ON UP -- Prior to Hughes being relegated to bench duty, the Huskies reserves were being outscored by its MAC opponents, 26.6 to 10.6. Since Hughes has come off the bench, the Huskie reserves are averaging 24.3 points to 20 points for the opposing team.
HOMER VS. BART -- Ohio University is the alma mater of Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson of the television show, `The Simpsons'. Northern Illinois University is the alma mater of Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Bart's father, Homer Simpson.
DOUBLE DUTY -- Northern Illinois has totaled four double-doubles this season including:
James Hughes (20 points, 12 rebounds) at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 9;
Mike McKinney (19 points, 13 rebounds) at Marist on Dec. 29;
Shaun Logan (15 points, 11 rebounds) at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 22;
James Hughes (22 points, 10 rebounds) against Duquesne on Nov. 25.
ROAD WARRIORS -- NIU is shooting a blistering 52.1% (74-for-142) from the field in their last three conference road games.
UP NEXT -- Northern Illinois begins a three-game homestand on Tuesday, February 13, as the Huskies welcome Ball State for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip-off at the NIU Convocation Center.