NIU Men's Hoops Hosts BracketBuster Showdown With UW-Green Bay On Saturday

GO HUSKIES NIU senior center James Hughes and the Huskies will battle UWGB on Saturday afternoon.
GO HUSKIES
NIU senior center James Hughes and the Huskies will battle UWGB on Saturday afternoon.
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 15, 2007

UW-Green Bay at Northern Illinois Game Notes in PDF Format
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DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's basketball team takes a break from Mid-American Conference action, as they welcome the Horizon League's UW-Green Bay as a part of the 2007 O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters event on Saturday, February 17th at the NIU Convocation Center for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

The Huskies (6-18) are coming off of a hard-fought 57-55 defeat at the hands of MAC West rival, Ball State, last Tuesday (Feb. 13) night. Sophomore point guard Quintan Lipkins led the charge for the Huskies with 11 points.

UW-Green Bay senior guard Ryan Evanochko topped the Phoenix (15-12) with a game-high 21 points, including six rebounds and five assists, as UWGB earned the 65-55 Horizon League victory over the University of Illinois at Chicago on Wednesday (Feb. 14) night.

THE SERIES -- UW-Green Bay holds a 22-5 advantage over the Huskies in their all-time series.

THE LAST TIME -- Despite a team-high 14 points from NIU's all-time leading scorer, T.J. Lux, Northern Illinois was unable to overcome 25.4% (15-for-59) shooting as UW-Green Bay earned the 64-46 victory over the Huskies at Brown County Arena on February 10, 1997. UWGB's Jerry Carstensen topped four Phoenix in double-figures with 16 points and seven rebounds.

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 73-96 including last season's Mid-American Conference West Division championship. UW-Green Bay head coach Tod Kowalczyk is in his fifth year as the Phoenix skipper and has led UWGB to an overall mark of 74-70.

NO STRANGERS -- NIU and UW-Green Bay were both members of the Mid-Continent Conference from 1990-97.

BRACKETBUSTED -- Saturday's contest against UW-Green Bay marks the fourth year that NIU has participated in BracketBusters Saturday and the first time that the Huskies have hosted this event. The Huskies are 0-3 in BracketBuster games and have lost the last two contests in overtime.

FOUND 1,000 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney scored seven points against Bowling Green on Feb. 7th, pushing the Evanston, Ill., native over the 1,000 point club. McKinney is the 26th Huskie in school-history to score 1,000 career points and currently has 1,013 tallies.

SEEKING 500 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney enters Saturday's contest with 480 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 in his career.

TREY BIEN -- NIU junior point guard Ryan Paradise has knocked down at least one three-pointer in the Huskies' last nine contests. During that stretch, Paradise has converted 47.5% (19-for-40) of his long-range attempts.

ANY GIVEN TIME -- Freshman guard Cody Yelder's game-high 20 points against Ohio on February 10, marked the seventh different player that has led NIU in scoring this season.

FOR HIS EFFORTS -- Freshman guard Cody Yelder was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 11th, as the Calumet Park, Ill., native averaged 14.5 points and shot 69.2% (9-for-13) from the field in a pair of Huskie victories last week.

SHOOTING STROKE -- Senior center James Hughes is currently the school-record holder for career field-goal percentage, as the Silvis, Ill., native has converted 58.0% (381-for-657) of his career field-goal attempts.

CRUNCH TIME-- NIU point guards Cody Yelder (13-for-13), 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 53.4% (47-for-88) 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.

BLOCK PARTY -- Senior center James Hughes currently sits in second place in Huskie history with 191 career blocks. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year needs nine more swats for the school-record of 200, currently held by Allen Rayhorn (1978-82). Hughes has 45 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.

BENCH PRODUCTION -- The Northern Illinois bench has been rejuvenated since NIU senior center James Hughes has become the Huskies' `sixth' man. 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 26.4 points to 14.8 points for the opposing team.

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.

DEFENSIVE STOPPERS -- Northern Illinois has held their opponents to under 40.0% shooting in its last three contests. The last time the Huskies accomplished that in four-straight games was during the 2003-04 campaign, as NIU held Eastern Illinois, Notre Dame, Illinois State and Illinois-Chicago underneath the 40.0% shooting clip to open the season.

UP NEXT -- Northern Illinois welcomes Toledo to the NIU Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip-off on Thursday, February 22nd.