DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois wraps up the regular season on Sunday (Mar. 9) afternoon, as the Huskies head to Ypsilanti, Michigan to square off with Eastern Michigan for a 1 p.m. (CST) tip-off at the Convocation Center.
The Huskies are coming off of a 69-63 loss at the hands of Ball State on Tuesday (Mar. 4) night, despite a team-season best 24 points from freshman guard Darion Anderson. Anderson is averaging a team-best 11.8 points-per-game, while backcourt mate Jarvis Nichols is adding 10.3 points-per-game.
Eastern Michigan was unable to complete its rally, as host Toledo held on for the 72-63 win at Savage Hall on Tuesday night. EMU senior guard Carlos Medlock topped the Eagles with 20 points, followed by 12 points from guard Jarred Axon and 11 points from junior forward Jesse Bunkley. Medlock leads the Eagles in scoring with 14.6 points-per-game.
All-Time Series: Northern Illinois holds a 45-25 lead over the Eagles in their all-time series.
The Last Time: Eastern Michigan senior guard Jarred Axon came off the bench and drained seven three-pointers on his way to a career-high 23 points, helping the visiting Eagles to the 65-61 Mid-American Conference victory over Northern Illinois on January 16, 2008. NIU junior forward Sean Smith led the Huskies with 15 points.
Perfect From The Line: Junior guard Jarvis Nichols knocked down all 11 of his free throw attempts against Central Michigan on Saturday (Mar. 1), extending his consecutive free throw streak to 27. Nichols needs to drain his next seven charity shots to break the NIU record of 33, set by Todd Peterson during the 2005-06 campaign.
The Godfather: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton is the godfather to Eastern Michigan head coach Charles Ramsey's son, Tre.
Charity Stripe: Northern Illinois went to the free throw line 46 times against Central Michigan on Saturday (Mar. 1), marking the most attempts in a game since the Huskies attempted 53 against Texas A&M on January 5, 1994.
Movin' On Up: Freshman guard Darion Anderson is the first Huskie rookie to lead the squad in scoring (11.8 ppg.) since NIU all-time leading scorer T.J. Lux averaged 15.2 points-per-game during the 1995-96 season. Anderson, who has scored 308 points this year, needs 15 more points to pass Donnell Thomas for third place in NIU history for most points scored in a single-season by a freshman.
Across The Board: Freshman guard Darion Anderson is inching closer to becoming the first Huskie player in school history, since assists were recorded, to lead NIU in scoring, rebounding and assists. Anderson currently leads the squad in scoring (11.8 ppg.) and assists (2.8), but trails Shaun Logan by two caroms for the team lead in rebounds.
20/20 Vision: Both Darion Anderson (24 points) and Michael Patton (22 points) reached the 20-point plateau against Akron on February 12, marking the first time since March 4, 2006 that the Huskies had two players score 20 points in the same contest. Todd Peterson posted a game-high 24 points, while Anthony Maestranzi had 20 tallies to help NIU to the 74-59 win and 2006 MAC West Division title over Western Michigan.
Like Father, Like Son: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton is one of 13 coaches across America, whose son is playing for his squad. Michael Patton is a freshman point guard for the Huskies, who is averaging 7.1 points-per-game.
My Name Is: NIU freshman guard Darion Anderson also is referred to as "Jake", short for his middle name, Jakeon.
Recruiting Class: NIU head coach Ricardo Patton has inked four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, including guards Mike Dinunno (Chicago, Ill./Von Steuben), Bryan Hall (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), Dominique Johnson (Detroit, Mich./Southwest Tennessee C.C.) and forward Tyler Storm (Geneseo, Ill./Geneseo) to play for the Huskies in 2008.
Welcome Back Jake: Since his return to the starting line-up, freshman guard Darion Anderson is averaging 16.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists-per-game in NIU's last ten contests.
Hot Shooting: NIU shot a season-best 64.6% (31-for-48) from the field against Akron on February 12, their best performance since a 65.0% (26-for-40) outing against Toledo on January 24, 2006. It was their best road shooting performance since February 19, 1983, when the Huskies shot 64.8% (35-for-54) against Toledo.
20/20/20: NIU freshman guard Darion Anderson has scored 20 points in back-to-back games. The last Huskie to achieve that feat in three consecutive contests was Todd Peterson who did it in four straight games from Feb. 26 to Mar. 9, 2006.
Are You Experienced?: Of NIU's 11 active players, the Huskies have seven student-athletes who are in their first season of Division I basketball.
Freshman `20': With his 20 point performance against Western Michigan on January 5, guard Michael Patton became NIU's second freshman this season, joining Darion Anderson, to reach the 20-point plateau in a game. The last time NIU had two freshmen each score at least 20 points in a game during a season was during the 1973-74 campaign, when both Carroll Holmes and Ricky Hicks each accomplished that feat.
Fine Freshman: Huskie guard Darion Anderson is the top scoring freshman in the Mid-American Conference (as of Mar. 5), averaging 11.8 points-per-game.
Blazin' Bench: The NIU bench outscored the Huskie starters 41-22 in the 77-63 loss to Central Michigan on January 18, marking the seventh time this season, the most in NIU Division I history, that the reserves have accomplished that feat.