March 5, 2006
Cleveland, OH - Northern Illinois University senior forward Todd Peterson made sure that there was little doubt as to who the Mid-American Conference West Division belonged to this past week, as the Pekin, IL, native averaged 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game to push the Huskies to a pair of victories and their first-ever outright MAC West division regular-season title.
For his efforts, the MAC announced on Sunday afternoon, that Peterson - for the second time this season - has been named the West Division Player of the Week for the period ending March 5, 2006. Prior NIU recipients of the award also include junior center James Hughes (Jan. 2) and sophomore guard Ryan Paradise (Jan. 8).
Peterson shot 58.3% (14-for-24) from the field and 60.0% (6-for-10) from beyond the three-point arc in the two victories. For the season, Peterson is averaging a team-best 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
"Todd and his teammates had a very focused and successful week," NIU head men's basketball coach Rob Judson said. "We know that he would like that to continue."
With the title, the Huskies (17-10) receive the No. 2 seed and a bye to the quarterfinals in the upcoming MAC Tournament at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. NIU will take on the winner of Monday's (Mar. 6) match-up between No. 7 University of Toledo and No. 10 Bowling Green State University at 11 a.m. (CST) on Thursday morning.
Peterson's most impressive performance came in the Huskies' 74-59 MAC West clinching victory over Western Michigan University on Saturday (Mar. 4) afternoon. Peterson tallied a team-season best 24 points and a career-best 15 rebounds for his first-ever double-double. He has scored 20+ points in three straight games and in four out of the Huskies' last five games. Should he continue his streak of games with 20+ points to four, he will be the first Huskie to accomplish that feat since Leon Rodgers during the 2001-02 campaign. Peterson's 15 boards are also the most by a Huskie since Marcus Smallwood grabbed 15 rebounds in a 69-59 defeat at the hands of Baylor University on December 22, 2003.
Miami University's Tim Pollitz was named the MAC East Player of the Week.
(For further information, please contact Matt Brendich) -NIU-