Feb. 28, 2012
Live Stats l Game Notes in PDF
Northern Illinois Huskies (3-24, 2-12 MAC) vs. Toledo Rockets (15-14, 6-8 MAC)
Date: Wednesday February 29, 2012
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
Location: NIU Convocation Center • DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM in DeKalb, WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet and WLIP 1050-AM in Kenosha
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Northern Illinois will wrap up the home portion of its 2011-12 schedule on Wednesday night as it hosts Toledo on senior night at the NIU Convocation Center. The Huskies will be looking for their fifth-straight home win over the Rockets. Prior to the contest, the Huskies will honor their two seniors, Tyler Storm and DeMarcus Grady.
The Rockets bring a 15-14 overall record, 6-8 in conference play, to DeKalb. Toledo has won four-straight contests and has pulled into second in the MAC West Division. Rian Pearson leads the Rockets averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Curtis Dennis (12.7) and Julius Brown (12.2) also scored in double figures for Toledo, who leads the MAC in free throw percentage at 72.3 percent.
Against the Rockets
Toledo holds a 39-22 lead in the overall series with NIU while the Huskies hold a 15-11 edge in games played in DeKalb. Northern Illinois has won the last four-straight home games against Toledo, including a 64-54 victory last season (Jan. 15, 2011). Toledo’s last win in DeKalb came on Feb. 22, 2007. Earlier this year, Toledo defeated NIU, 71-41, in Toledo (Jan. 18, 2012).
Nader Still Going Strong
Abdel Nader posted his 15th double-figure scoring game with his 24-point effort at Central Michigan (Feb. 26). Nader ranks fourth in the MAC in scoring among freshmen at 10.5 points per game. The Skokie, Ill., native also leads the MAC in rebounding among rookies, pulling down 4.2 boards per contest, including 6.9 per game over the last seven games. Nader also leads the MAC in blocks by a freshman and ranks fifth among conference freshmen in steals.
Kevin Gray Has a Day
Kevin Gray posted a new career-high in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting at Central Michigan (Feb. 26). The contest was Gray’s first career double-figure scoring game, he is averaging 5.8 points per contest over the last five games. Gray currently ranks fourth in the MAC in rebounding, pulling down 3.9 boards per game.
Kids on the Floor
With a roster featuring seven freshmen, youth will definitely be served for the 2011-12 Huskies. To date, 56.3 percent of the minutes played in the NIU lineup have been played by first year players; no other team in the MAC has had more than 22 percent of its minutes played by freshmen. Nationally, NIU is sixth in minutes played by freshmen; St. John’s leads the way with 74.4 percent of its minutes played by rookies.
Northern Illinois will conclude the regular season on Saturday, March 3, when it travels to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State. Game time against the Cardinals is slated for 1 p.m. CT.