Lobdell becomes MAC's all-time career kills leader in NIU Volleyball's 3-1 win over MAC foe Toledo (11/11)

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES
Northern Illinois vs. Laval University
2:05 p.m. (CST) l Saturday, November 13, 2004
Convocation Center (9,100) l DeKalb, IL

Game Day Quick Facts:
Television: None

Radio: None

Tickets: Contact the Northern Illinois Ticket Office at (815) 753-1053.

Coaches: Rob Judson (Illinois ’80) is 39-50 in his fourth season at Northern Illinois. Laval head coach Jacques Paiement is in his 35th season of coaching and sixth year with Laval.

Officials: Will be announced on game day.

Northern Illinois vs. Laval Probable Starting Lineups

Northern Illinois Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG APG
F 25 Paige Paulsen 6-7 220 So. Custer, SD 3.5 1.6 0.4
C 41 James Hughes 6-11 220 So. Silvis, IL 4.9 3.5 0.3
G 15 Zach Pancratz 6-5 198 Fr. Schaumburg, IL *20.3 *5.8 *5.5
G 23 Mike McKinney 6-4 200 So. Evanston, IL 4.6 3.7 1.7
G 3 Anthony Maestranzi 5-10 165 Jr. Bartlett, IL 6.9 1.7 3.8

Laval Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG APG
F 2 Jean-Philippe Morin 6-7 220 So. Aylmer, Quebec 9.2 6.1 0.8
F 33 Marc-Antoine Horth 6-7 250 Sr. Sainte-Foy, Quebec 15.2 8.4 2.1
G 15 Dominique Soucy 6-3 195 Sr. Quebec City, Quebec 10.4 3.8 4.4
G 22 Charles Fortier 6-4 210 Sr. Amos, Quebec 21.4 5.6 2.9 G 4 Philippe Cote Jacques 6-3 180 Sr. Granby, Quebec 4.0 2.2 3.5

* - Statistics from senior season at Schaumburg High School
NIU and Laval statistical numbers are from the 2003-04 Season.


What You Need To Know About Today’s Game
Northern Illinois is in its 100th season of college basketball and is playing its final exhibition tune-up prior to the regular-season opener on Nov. 20 at Loyola ... The Huskies are 1,004-953 all-time and sport a 5-2 exhibition record under head coach Rob Judson ... This is Northern Illinois’ first contest against a Canadian University and the first game against an international foe since Nov. 6, 1997, when the Huskies defeated Beovuk, Yugoslavia, 80-69 ... Northern Illinois has won four straight exhibition contests dating back to a 93-84 loss to Team Nike in Judson’s second season.

Scouting The University of Laval
Located in Quebec, Canada, Laval comes into today’s contest the No. 6-ranked team in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversitary Sport) standings (Canada’s version of the NCAA) thanks to a 7-2 early-season record ... A talented, veteran team, Laval averages 79.5 ppg and its only two losses have come to Carleton (88-81), the top-ranked team in the CIS and the University of Prince Edward Island 77-74 ... Laval does own a win over No. 9-ranked Victoria by a 78-74 margin on Oct. 16 ... Laval began its season on Oct. 12 and will be playing its 10th game of the year this evening against the Huskies ... Following tonight’s meeting, Laval travels to Iowa City, IA, for a contest with the University of Iowa on Sunday ... Laval’s leading scorer is Charles Fortier, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard from Amos, Quebec ... Already 25-years-old, Fortier was a Second Team All-Canadian selection last season after averaging 21.4 ppg ... Marc Antoine Horth, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward, is the team’s leading rebounder ... The 24-year-old from Sainte-Foy, Quebec, was a First Team All-Conference pick last season and averaged 8.5 boards per game ... Horth also ranked second on the club with a 15.2 ppg norm.

Balanced Huskies Top The Century Mark Against IIT
James Hughes led all scorers with just 15 points, but six Huskies reached double-figures as Northern Illinois claimed a 50-point (101-51) win over Illinois Institute of Technology, Monday (Nov. 8) at the Convocation Center ... The 101 points were the most scored by NIU in an exhibition game since a Nov. 11, 1998, 103-85, win over Marathon Oil ... The Huskies also had six players reach double-figures in that contest led by T.J. Lux who poured in a game-high 21 ... The last time NIU reached the century mark in a regular-season game was Jan. 29, 2003, in a 101-100 loss to Akron.

Helpful Huskies: NIU Dishes 20 Dimes In 101-Point Effort
Northern Illinois’ team high for assists last season was 19 in an 88-58 Senior-Night win over Central Michigan ... After just one exhibition game, however, the Huskies have already topped that mark with 20 in the 101-51 win over IIT (Nov. 8) ... Junior College transfer Cory Sims led the way with six dimes and was one of five Huskies to hand out multiple helpers ... Overall, NIU had assists on 20 of its 38 buckets.

Thieving Huskies: 15 Steals Leads Staunch Defensive Play
Similar to their assist total, the Huskies were equally adept to swiping the basketball from the Scarlet Hawks as well, registering 15 steals, which directly led to 34 points off turnovers ... Point guards Anthony Maestranzi and Cory Sims led the Huskies with four swipes apiece, while both Zach Pancratz and Johnathan Byrd recorded three and two steals respectively ... Last season’s high for NIU was 10 in a March 1, 2004, win over Central Michigan.

We’ll Call Them Career-High Efforts ... For Now
Although it was just an exhibition game, NIU got a number of career-high performances in the 50-point win over IIT ... Senior Johnathan Byrd made his first career start and tallied 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting ... The 6-foot-9 center also grabbed a career high seven rebounds in only 16 minutes of playing time (foul trouble) ... James Hughes’ 15 points were a career high, as were Anthony Maestranzi’s four steals and Paige Paulsen’s seven boards.

Diaper Dandy: Freshman Zach Pancratz Stars In Exh. Opener
True Frosh Zach Pancratz found himself in the starting lineup for NIU’s exhibition-opener vs. IIT and scored 14 points due in large part to 6-of-8 shooting from the foul line ... The Schaumburg High School career leader in three-point field goals (180), Pancratz also hit a pair of triples in the first half en route to 12 first-half points ... If the 6-foot-5 rookie remains in the “Starting Five” for NIU’s contest at Loyola (Nov. 20), he will be the first freshman since Rome Sanders to begin his collegiate career as a starter ... In fact, Pancratz could be the third freshman of the Judson Era to start a season-opener ... Julian McElroy started a Nov. 21 contest at Loyola (Nov. 24, 2001), the first game for Judson as head coach of the Huskies ... Neither Sanders nor McElroy scored during their inaugural tilt.

Welcome Back: Fourth-Year Sophomore McKenzie Returns
It was a long road to recovery for (fourth-year) sophomore Bryson McKenzie, but the 6-foot-10 center made his return to collegiate basketball last Monday against IIT with a career-high five-point, two-rebound effort in five minutes of playing time ... McKenzie entered the lineup late in the first half and scored a layup on a nice assist from Cory Sims ... The Gary, IN, native played four minutes in the second half, and slammed home his fourth and fifth points of the game with :38 seconds remaining to push the Huskies over the century mark ... McKenzie’s action against IIT was his first since Jan. 3, 2004, against Ohio ... The Gary, IN, native played two minutes vs. the Bobcats.

So Long Marathon Oil, Hello Collegiate-Level Opponents
Starting with its 101-51 win over Illinois Institute of Technology, Northern Illinois’ days of playing professional traveling teams are numbered ... Thanks to NCAA legislation, all NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams will be allowed to schedule Division II and Division III collegiate opponents for their exhibition contests ... Universities are also allowed to schedule international foes for the games, and NIU will utilize that rule tonight when it hosts Laval University located in Quebec, Canada ... Following tonight’s game, Laval will travel to Iowa City, IA, to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Nov. 14.

NIU Unveils ‘Huskie Hoop Time’ For 2004-05 Season
In a nutshell, Huskie Hoop Time is everything encompassing NIU men’s basketball for the 2004-05 season ... A marketing slogan coined by NIU basketball coach Rob Judson, Huskie Hoop Time was the official name of NIU’s Midnight Madness on Oct. 15/16 and is printed on red silicon bracelets that will be sold throughout campus for $1 promoting fan and student ownership with the men’s basketball program ... Proceeds from the $1 bracelets will go to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund to help support the families of Illinois soldiers fighting the war on terrorism ... The effort is being called “Hoops For Troops”.

Cram The Convo Slated For Nov.24 vs. SW Missouri State
Cram the Convo = $1 Night for Huskie Hoop Fans ... $1 tickets, $1 hot dogs, $1 sodas ... The night before Thanksgiving has never been so easy, or inexpensive as the Huskies take on 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament runner-up Southwest Missouri State on Wednesday Nov. 24 ... Cram The Convo Night also means a great marketing and employee-relations opportunity for area businesses and charitable organizations ... For each company that purchases $250 worth of tickets (250 tickets), it will receive recognition over the Convo public address system .. For $500 worth of tickets, companies and organizations can bring their banners to hang in the arena the same night of the game ... Contact Todd Garzarelli in the NIU Marketing office at (815) 753-8042 for more information about Cramming The Convo for the Northern Illinois men’s basketball home-opener!

Houston, We Have Our Point Guard, Lipkins Inks With NIU
Northern Illinois men’s basketball coach Rob Judson announced the signing of Houston, TX, Sharpstown HS point guard Quintan Lipkins to a national letter of intent on Nov. 10 ... A 5-foot-9, 160-pound speedster, Lipkins was the No. 3 scorer in Texas Class 4A last season (24.5 ppg), and terrorized opposing defenses as he led Sharpstown to an 18-12 overall record ... An outstanding creator for his teammates, Lipkins dished out a Sharpstown single-season record 296 assists last year en route to earning All-District 22 accolades for the second consecutive season. A three-year starter for the Apollos, Lipkins has started 85-of-91 career games and has scored over 1,500 points as a prep, an average of 16.5 points over his high school career ... Lipkins enters his senior season as the No. 2 returning scorer in the state of Texas.

Low RPM’s: Reichel, Paradise, McKenzie Among The Wounded
With just 12 scholarship players available due to Ben Rand’s NCAA-mandated redshirt (transfer), the Huskies have little margin for error with regards to injuries ... Unfortunately that margin for error got even smaller with the injuries sustained by freshman Craig Reichel and sophomores Ryan Paradise and Bryson McKenzie ... While McKenzie saw his first playing time in nearly a year following a pair of arthroscopic knee surgeries, Paradise and Reichel haven’t had such luck ... Paradise is still recovering from a pair of off-season wrist surgeries on his left shooting wrist and is just now beginning a light conditioning regimen ... Reichel suffered a deep bone bruise in his right ankle during workouts and more than likely won’t be available until after the start of the regular season.

There’s No Place Like Home: NIU Home Numbers Solid In 2004
The Convocation Center finally became “Home Sweet Home” in 2004 ... After going 7-7 at home in the facility’s first year, NIU finished last season with an 8-5 overall mark including wins over MAC foes Miami, Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, as well as in-state foes Illinois State and Eastern Illinois ... The Huskies were markedly better statistically as well, shooting 46.6 percent from the floor, while hitting 43.5 percent from three-point range ... Defensively, NIU held opponents to just 65.0 points and a 37.4 percent success rate from the field ... The 8-5 home record for the Huskies was the best since the 1999-2000 season when NIU also went 8-5 at Chick Evans Field House.

Peterson Charges Up Career Three-Point Standings
After two seasons, junior forward Todd Peterson is currently on pace to break the Northern Illinois career record for 3-point field goals ... Already with 114 treys for his career, Peterson buried 60 triples last season (fifth in NIU single-season history) and needs just 31 more to move into the NIU Top Five ... Current assistant coach Donald Whiteside (1987-91) holds the career record with 204 treys ... Next on the list for Peterson will be Marlin Simms (1991-96) who stands eighth with 120.

MAC Preseason Rankings
Toledo in the West, Buffalo in the East, those were the preseason predictions by the Mid-American Conference News Media Association Poll released at MAC Media Day Oct. 21 in Cleveland ... Toledo was the overwhelming pick to win the West, receiving 31 of the 37 first-place votes ... NIU was picked sixth with 88 total votes, well ahead of seventh-place Central Michigan (49 votes) ... Buffalo received 29 of 37 first-place votes in the East with Kent State (7) and Miami (1) also receiving Divisional Champion recognition ... Toledo was also the overwhelming favorite to win the FirstEnergy MAC Tournament, getting 19 of the 37 possible votes ... Buffalo was second with eight tourney championship votes.

Pl West Division Pts
1. Toledo (31) 252
2. Ball State 290
3. Western Michigan (3) 189
4. Eastern Michigan (3) 153
5. Bowling Green 116
6. Northern Illinois 88
7. Central Michigan 49

Pl East Division Pts
1. Buffalo (29) 207
2. Kent State (7) 174
3. Miami (1) 171
4. Marshall 84
5. Akron 79
6. Ohio 62

Huskie Newcomer Sims Cited Top Transfer By Street & Smith’s
Street & Smith Magazine named NIU newcomer Cory Sims the top transfer in the Mid-American Conference heading into the 2004-05 season ... A NJCAA Division II All-American, Sims led Lewis & Clark Community College to a 24-11 overall record and a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament ... A versatile perimeter performer, Sims was awarded the Jack Cistriano “Best Small Man Award” after averaging 22.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game ... In addition to ranking No. 7 nationally in scoring, Sims ranked No. 31 in steals with 2.6 per contest.

Defensive Calling Card
Could this be a better defensive unit in 2004? ... You bet, especially with the MAC’s top returning shot-blocker (James Hughes) and top perimeter defender (Mike McKinney) coming back ... The all-time freshman shot-blocker in school history, Hughes swatted 53 shots as a rookie and averaged 1.77 blocks per game, placing him second in the league and No. 46 nationally ... Hughes also finished sixth nationally among freshmen in that category, as he blocked at least one shot in 24-of-30 games and had multiple swats 13 times ... McKinney’s defensive efforts were more subtle ... In fact, you could call the Evanston native the “Silencer” after what he did to 2004-05 Preseason Player of the Year Keith Triplett (Toledo) on Feb. 11, 2004, and a host of other high-scoring performers around the League ... McKinney held Triplett (19.6 ppg) scoreless through the first 24:36 of that Feb. 11 contest, before going to the bench with his third foul ... McKinney also “Silenced” Kent State’s Eric Haut (six points), former Bowling Green guard Ron Lewis (11 points) and Eastern Michigan’s Markus Austin (five points) holding the trio a combined 22.2 points below their season norms.

Noting The Huskie Newcomers
For the second consecutive season, Rob Judson has five newcomers entering the program, although just four will be eligible due to NCAA transfer guidelines (Ben Rand) ... Frank Clair enters NIU after an outstanding prep career at Chicago’s Leo High School ... The IHSA Class A State Tournament MVP in 2004, Clair brings an excellent mid-range game to go with a developing array of post moves ... Strength will be key for Clair and as that develops, the sky is the limit for the 6-foot-6 small forward ... Basketball savvy, gym rat, headstrong, all excellent descriptions of freshman shooting guard Zach Pancratz ... A dead-eye, self-made shooter, Pancratz spent many-a-morning waiting for Convocation Center personnel to open the gym as he shot more than 1,000 jumpers a day in preparation for his first season at the Division I level ... His high school teammate, Craig Reichel, is a weight coaches dream ... With 230 pounds on his 6-foot-8 frame, Reichel will have the opportunity to develop into a physical presence and could be a staple in the NIU frontline for years to come ... In addition to his size, Reichel possesses a soft shooting touch as he hit 35-percent of his 3-point attempts as a high school senior ... Injuries decimated the NIU backcourt in 2003-04, but the addition of junior college transfer Cory Sims should help bolster NIU’s depth at that spot ... A NJCAA Division II All-American, Sims is a nice combination of a “Floor General” and a “Play Maker” ... Last season, Sims was the top guard at the NJCAA Division II level and led his team to the National Tournament ... As with most transfers, Sims is going through a speed adjustment, but should settle in nicely to complement the shooting ability of Anthony Maestranzi in the backcourt ... Although he will be forced to sit out the 2004-05 season because of NCAA transfer guidelines, Ben Rand will make an impact on this season’s team as a practice player, where he can use his size and athletic ability at the guard position to emulate some of the bigger backcourt players the Huskies will face ... A 6-foot-6, 190-pound swing player, Rand stole the show at Huskie Hoop Time (NIU’s version of Midnight Madness) hitting a pair of threes and making a pair of acrobatic layups in only 10 minutes of scrimmage time.