Huskies to Face Western Illinois in 100 Club Classic Consolation Game

Sean Kowal

Nov. 14, 2008

KENNESAW, Ga. - Northern Illinois and Western Illinois will collide for the 78th time in Saturday's consolation round of the 100 Club Classic, beginning at 4 p.m. The Huskies dropped a 77-64 decision against Maine in the tournament's first game, and WIU fell against host Kennesaw State, 85-63, in the nightcap.

» Northern Illinois is in its 104th season of collegiate basketball. The Huskies have compiled 1,012 all-time wins.
» The Huskies own a 42-51 all-time record against the field of the 2008 "100 Club Classic." NIU is 4-1 all-time against Maine, has never played Kennesaw State, and trails the all-time series against Western Illinois, 50-37.
» Saturday's game between the Northern Illinois and Western Illinois marks the first time the two in-state rivals have met in a location other than DeKalb, Ill., or Macomb, Ill., since Dec. 30, 1948, when the Huskies and Leathernecks faced off in Muscatine, Ill. The all-time series between NIU and Western Illinois dates back to the 1903-04 campaign.
» After going head-to-head 13 times between the 1980-81 and 1993-94 seasons, the Huskies and Leathernecks have not played in men's basketball since Feb. 24, 1994, when Western Illinois recorded a 70-68 win in Macomb, Ill.
» Northern Illinois has dropped its last four decisions against in-state foes. The last time the Huskies defeated a team based in the state of Illinois was Nov. 26, 2006, a 102-61 win over Aurora in DeKalb, Ill.
» Six Huskie players made their Northern Illinois debuts Friday against Maine. Lee Fisher, Sean Kowal and Mike DiNunno all started the game, while Ante Dzepina, Tyler Storm and Michael Fakuade all came off the bench. Fisher, Kowal and DiNunno combined for 37 points.
» Former Northern Illinois head coach Jim Molinari is in his first season at the helm of the Western Illinois program. With the Huskies, Molinari posted a record of 42-17 (.712), guiding NIU to the 1991 Mid-Continent Conference title. The Huskies went 25-6 and set the single-season school record for wins. He has also served head coaching stints at Bradley and Minnesota (interim head coach).
» Darion "Jake" Anderson's nine-point effort against Maine was just his second non double-figure scoring output in the last 12 games, dating back to last season.
Anderson's start was the 20th of his career, and his team-leading 13th- consecutive starting assignment.
» Mike DiNunno's four three-pointers against Maine were the most by an NIU player since then-freshman Michael Patton hit five threes in the Huskies' 88-78 win at Akron last season (Feb. 12, 2008).
» Darion "Jake" Anderson's nine points against the Black Bears gives him 351 career points -- he is the only active player on NIU's roster with 200-or-more career points.
» Sean Kowal has now appeared in 28 games in his combined career at Northern Illinois and Colorado. In his freshman season under then-head coach Ricardo Patton at CU, Kowal was one of eight players to appear in all 27 games.



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