Huskies Open Final Road Trip at EMU

GO HUSKIES Sophomore guard J.J. Cravatta
GO HUSKIES
Sophomore guard J.J. Cravatta
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 28, 2014

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Northern Illinois Huskies (13-14, 7-8 MAC) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (16-12, 8-7 MAC)
Date / Time: Saturday, March 1, 2014 / 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET)
Site: EMU Convocation Center • Ypsilanti, Mich.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • NIUTube (NIUHuskies.com)
Live Video: mac-sports.com
Live Stats: EMUEagles.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: NIU leads 51-34
Last Meeting: Feb. 20, 2014 • NIU, 61-59 (2ot)

DID YOU KNOW?
• NIU defeated Toledo, 74-66 on Feb. 26, the Rockets are currently ranked 37th in the RPI. The Huskies have not posted a top-50 RPI win since defeating Wisconsin, 55-51, on Dec. 14, 1999. The Badgers finished the 1999-2000 season ranked 21st in the RPI.  
Travon Baker tied his career highs for both points and rebounds against Toledo with 17 points and five boards. Baker has scored in double figures 14 times this season and is averaging 10.5 points per game in league play.
Aaric Armstead is tied for third in the MAC among freshmen in scoring (9.1 ppg) and ranks second in rebounding (4.5 rpg) in conference play. Armstead is the only player that ranks in the top-five in both categories. In the last five games, Armstead is averaging 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
• In his last 11 games, Jordan Threloff is averaging 12.7 points per game, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line. Threloff is also averaging 8.2 rebounds per game during that stretch.  
Darrell Bowie is averaging 10.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the last six contests. Bowie has scored in double figures 12 times this season and has grabbed seven-or-more rebounds 17 times.
Travon Baker is tied for fifth in the MAC in steals in conference play (2.0 spg) and ranks 14th in assists per game (2.5 apg).
Aaron Armstead is shooting 80.3 percent from the free-throw line, including 79.5 percent in league play, which ranks seventh in the MAC.
Pete Rakocevic is shooting 69.6 percent (16-of-23) from the field over the past 10 games.
• NIU entered the week ranked 36th nationally in rebounding margin (+5.1) and 44th in scoring defense (64.2 ppg).
• The Huskies have won seven games this season by seven points or less, NIU won just one game by seven or fewer points all of last season.
• NIU’s 13 wins this season are more than double its total from the two previous years combined (10). The 13 wins are the most for a Huskie team since going 17-11 during the 2005-06 season.
Aksel Bolin has appeared 109 games during his NIU career, but saw his streak of 86 consecutive games snapped at Ball State due to illness. The NIU record for career games played in 117, by Anthony Maestranzi and Todd Peterson (2002-06).
• The Huskies have won five road games this season, the most for the program since winning six in 2005-06.
• The Huskies have lost 55 man games due to injury this season, not including redshirts, and are currently dressing nine scholarship players.
    
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN
• The Eagles have a 16-12 overall record, 8-7 in Mid-American Conference play. Eastern Michigan is 12-3 at home this season and has not lost a home game since Jan. 25, against Ohio.
• Karrington Ward is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Eagles, averaging 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest.
• Ward leads four Eagles scoring in double figures, Raven Lee (10.3 ppg), Mike Talley (10.1 ppg) and Glenn Bryant (10.0 ppg) also score in double figures for Eastern Michigan.

THE LAST MEETING
Jordan Threloff recorded his first career double-double with a career-best 27 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as NIU defeated Eastern Michigan, 61-59, in double overtime on Feb. 20.
• Threloff capped his monster night with a tip-in to win the game in double overtime with 0.8 seconds to play. Threloff’s tip-in was No. 9 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the night.
Aaric Armstead also recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
• Four Huskies played over 40 minutes in the contest, with Aaric Armstead playing a team-high 44 minutes. Darrell Bowie, Jordan Threloff and Travon Baker each played 42 minutes. Eastern Michigan’s Mike Talley played a game-high 47 minutes.
• The contest was NIU’s first multiple overtime game since falling in two overtimes to Kent State, 86-83, on Feb. 10, 2009.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES
• NIU leads the all-time series against Eastern Michigan, 51-34. The Eagles hold a 22-21 edge all-time in meetings played in Ypsilanti.
• Eastern Michigan has won five of the last seven meetings overall in the series. The Eagles swept last season’s three meetings.
 • The Huskies and Eagles have met three times in each of the last two seasons, with NIU and EMU squaring off in the First Round of the MAC Tournament. NIU won the tournament meeting in 2012 and EMU claimed the tournament rematch in 2013.

LAST TIME OUT
• NIU defeated Toledo, 74-66, on Wednesday night (Feb. 26) at the NIU Convocation Center. The Huskies trailed by one at the half but held the Rockets to 34.4 percent (11-of-32) shooting in the second half.
Travon Baker scored a team-best 17 points, tying a career high. Baker also tied a career-high with five rebounds.
• Three other Huskies scored in double figures with Jordan Threloff just missing a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Aaron Armstead and Aksel Bolin each scored 11 points.
• The Huskies shot 83.3 percent (25-of-30) from the free-throw line, including 9-of-10 by Travon Baker.
• NIU outrebounded Toledo 40-29; the Huskies scored 18 second chance points to just nine for the Rockets and the NIU reserves scored 18 points to just six for the Toledo bench.

THE TURNAROUND
• Third-year head coach Mark Montgomery has NIU headed in the right direction, after two years of laying the foundation of his program; the fruits of that labor are starting to show. Consider the following…
• NIU’s 13 wins this season are more than double its total from the two previous years combined (10). The 13 wins are the most for a Huskie team since going 17-11 during the 2005-06 season.
• The eight-win improvement over last season’s five wins is already tied for the third-best single season win improvement in school history. With one more win, NIU would tie a school record for the biggest single-season turnaround in program history.
• NIU’s seven conference wins are also the most for the Huskies since recording 12 during the 2005-06 season.
• NIU currently has a RPI of 193; the Huskies have not finished with an RPI above 260 since the 2005-06 season.
• The Huskies currently rank 213 in the KenPom ratings. NIU has not finished a season above 230 since the 2006-07 campaign.  
• NIU defeated Toledo, 74-66 on Feb. 26, the Rockets are currently ranked 37th in the RPI. The Huskies have not posted a top-50 RPI win since defeating Wisconsin, 55-51, on Dec. 14, 1999. The Badgers finished the 1999-2000 season ranked 21st in the RPI.   • The Huskies have won five road games this season, the most for the program since winning six in 2005-06.
• The Huskies finished the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 6-6 record, marking the most non-conference wins for NIU since winning six in 1999-2000.
• NIU has had 71 double figure scoring games this season, NIU had just 46 such performances last year.
• The Huskies have had 42 seven-plus rebound performances this season; NIU had just 22 a year ago.  • In NIU’s 88-63 victory over Central Michigan (Feb. 12), the Huskies recorded their largest margin of victory over a conference foe (25) since defeating Eastern Michigan, 94-61 (33) on Feb. 26, 2006. NIU’s 88 points is the most for the program against a Division I opponent since defeating Chicago State, 99-93, on Jan. 6, 2010.
• NIU had a three-game winning streak from Jan. 29-Feb. 4, winning at Kent State and Ball State along with a home win over Miami (Ohio). The three-game winning streak is NIU’s longest since winning six-straight in the 2009-10 season (Jan. 2, 2010-Jan. 20, 2010).
• NIU defeated Bowling Green, 45-36, to record its first victory at Bowling Green since 2006. The 36 points allowed by the Huskies were the fewest allowed by NIU since holding Akron to 30 in a 48-30 victory on Jan. 26, 1991.


 

 

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