NIU Men's Hoops To Meet Cantral Michigan On Sunday

GO HUSKIES Junior point guard Ryan Paradise and his teammates will battle Central Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
GO HUSKIES
Junior point guard Ryan Paradise and his teammates will battle Central Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 23, 2007

Northern Illinois at Central Michigan Game Notes in PDF Format
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DeKalb, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's basketbal team takes to the road for the final time this season, as the Huskies travel to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to square off with Central Michigan for a 1 p.m. (CST) tip-off at Rose Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The Huskies (6-20, 3-10 MAC) are coming off of a heart-breaking 86-83 defeat at the hands of Toledo on Thursday (Feb. 22) night, despite a double-double of 25 points and 14 rebounds from senior center James Hughes and 19 points from freshman guard Cody Yelder.

Central Michigan (11-15, 6-7 MAC) used a game-high 26 points from junior guard Giordan Watson to edge Ball State, 61-59, at Worthen Arena on Thursday night.

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 73-98 including last season's Mid-American Conference West Division championship. Central Michigan head coach Ernie Zeigler is in his first year as the Chippewas' skipper and has totaled a mark of 11-15 in Mount Pleasant.

THE SERIES -- Northern Illinois holds a 47-35 advantage over the Chippewas in their all-time series.

THE LAST TIME -- Led by Giordan Watson's 28 points and 18 tallies from reserve forward Marko Spica, Central Michigan used a strong second half showing to hold off Northern Illinois for the 67-64 MAC West victory at the NIU Convocation Center on January 13, 2007.

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 1,027 tallies.

SEEKING 1,000 -- Senior center James Hughes enters Sunday's contest with 971 points. Should Hughes continue his current average of 12.4 points-per-game, he is on track to crack the 1,000-point barrier on `Senior Day' against Eastern Michigan on March 4th.

SEEKING 500 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney enters Thursday's contest with 486 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.

SEEKING 500 (PART DEUX) -- Senior center James Hughes needs 10 more rebounds to reach 500 caroms for his career.

CHARITY STRIPE -- NIU tied a school-record against UW-Green Bay on February 17th as the Huskies knocked down all 14 of their free throw attempts. The Huskies' performance at the free throw line was also a new Convocation Center record, as Illinois State previously held the standard with a 93.8% (15-for-16) performance on November 26, 2003.

DOUBLE DUTY -- Northern Illinois has totaled five double-doubles this season including:
James Hughes (25 points, 14 rebounds) vs. Toledo on Feb. 22;
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.

WELCOME BACK -- After spending the previous five games off of the bench, senior center James Hughes is averaging 22 points and 9.5 boards, while shooting 65.4% (17-for-26) from the floor since his return to the starting lineup.

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.

FROM WAY DOWNTOWN -- Junior guard Zach Pancratz has knocked down at least one three-pointer in each of the Huskies' last seven games. During that stretch, Pancratz has converted 51.6% (16-for-31) of his long-range attempts. The Schaumburg, Ill., native needs three more treys to reach 100 for his career.

FROM WAY DOWNTOWN (PART DEUX) -- The Huskies are currently riding a seven-game streak with at least five three-pointers in each contest. During that stretch, the Huskies are shooting 45.6% (52-for-114) from beyond the three-point arc.

BLOCK PARTY -- Senior center James Hughes currently sits in second place in Huskie history with 198 career blocks. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year needs two more swats for the school-record of 200, currently held by Allen Rayhorn (1978-82). Hughes has 52 blocks on the season, good for second most in school-history by a senior.

CRUNCH TIME-- NIU point guards Cody Yelder (15-for-15), 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 52.0% (51-for-98) 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.

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.

SHOOTING STROKE -- Senior center James Hughes is currently the school-record holder for career field-goal percentage, as the Silvis, Ill., native has converted 58.3% (398-for-683) of his career field-goal attempts.

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.

UP NEXT -- Northern Illinois will compete in its final road game of the season, as the Huskies will head to Kalamazoo, Michigan to square off with Western Michigan for a 6 p.m. (CST) tip-off on Thursday, March 1st.