Huskies Close Road Slate Tuesday at WMU

GO HUSKIES Sophomore guard Daveon Balls
Sophomore guard Daveon Balls

March 3, 2014

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Northern Illinois Huskies (13-15, 7-9 MAC) at Western Michigan Broncos (19-9, 12-4 MAC)
Date / Time: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 / 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET)
Site: University Arena • Kalamazoo, Mich.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin, Ill. • NIUTube (
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Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Western Michigan leads 54-29
Last Meeting: Feb. 9, 2014 • Western Michigan, 74-71

• Over the last three games, NIU is shooting 79.7 percent (63-of-79) as a team from the free-throw line.
Aaric Armstead is third in the MAC among freshmen in scoring (9.3 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 six games, Armstead is averaging 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
• In his last 12 games, Jordan Threloff is averaging 12.3 points per game, shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 79.4 percent from the free-throw line. Threloff is also averaging 8.3 rebounds per game during that stretch.  
• The Huskies are shooting 71.9 percent (318-of-442) from the free-throw line in the second half this season and just 62.6 percent (176-of-281) in the first half of games this season.
Darrell Bowie is averaging 10.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in the last seven contests. Bowie has scored in double figures 12 times this season and has grabbed seven-or-more rebounds 17 times.
Travon Baker is eighth in the MAC in steals in conference play (1.9 spg), 11th overall (1.5 spg). Baker also ranks 15th in assists per game (2.5 apg).
Pete Rakocevic is shooting 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field over the past 11 games.
• NIU is ranked 23rd nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.7), 40th in scoring defense (64.0 ppg) and 42nd in rebounding margin (+4.8).
• Three of NIU’s last four losses have come by four points or less. The Huskies fell by three to Western Michigan (Feb. 9) and at Central Michigan (Feb. 23) and by four at Eastern Michigan (March 1). NIU’s other loss in the last 10 games came by eight, 62-54, at Akron (Feb. 15).  
• 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 has played 10 games decided by five points or less, 13 games decided by seven points or less and 19 games by nine points or less.
• 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 110 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 57 man games due to injury this season, not including redshirts, and are currently dressing nine scholarship players.
• The Broncos are tied for the lead in the MAC West with Toledo at 12-4 in the conference, 19-9 overall. Western Michigan had won eight-straight before falling to Toledo on Saturday (March 1), 96-85, in overtime at Toledo.
• Three players are scoring in double figures for the Broncos, led by the MAC’s leading scorer, David Brown, at 19.3 points per contest. Shayne Whittington (16.0 ppg) and Connar Tava (12.0 ppg) are also scoring in double figures for Western Michigan.
• Western Michigan is 12-2 at home this season, with its only losses coming to North Dakota State (Nov. 20, 83-74) and Bowling Green (Jan. 19, 69-64).

• Coming off of three-straight wins in which they had trailed by double digits, NIU’s comeback attempt against Western Michigan fell just short, falling to the Broncos, 74-71 (Feb. 9)
• The Huskies fell behind by as many as 16 points, 63-47, with just over 12 minutes to play. NIU rallied to within a pair, 73-71, in the final minute but was unable to complete the comeback.
• Four Huskies scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Jordan Threloff. Aaron Armstead (14), Travon Baker (12) and Darrell Bowie (11) also reached double figures for the Huskies.
• NIU tied a season-low with 27 rebounds against the Broncos as the Huskies were outrebounded, 37-27.

• Western Michigan leads the all-time series against NIU, 54-29; the Broncos have won nine-straight over the Huskies.
• NIU’s last victory over Western Michigan was an 87-77 victory on Jan. 13, 2010, in DeKalb.
• The Broncos hold a 33-8 advantage all-time in Kalamazoo, including seven-straight wins. NIU’s last victory at Western Michigan came on March 4, 2006, 74-59.

• NIU led by six with three minutes to play, 52-46, but Eastern Michigan outscored the Huskies 10-0 in the final three minutes to earn a 56-52 victory.
Aaric Armstead was the lone Huskie to score in double figures, he had 11 points. Armstead also recorded a career-best four steals.
Jordan Threloff finished just shy of a double-double with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.
• The Huskies went 17-of-20 (85 percent) from the free-throw line and Eastern Michigan went 19-of-24 (79.2 percent).

• 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 199; the Huskies have not finished with an RPI above 260 since the 2005-06 season.
• The Huskies currently rank 209 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 38th 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 72 double figure scoring games this season, NIU had just 46 such performances last year.
• The Huskies have had 43 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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