Nov. 19, 2011
Eastern Illinois Game Notes
Northern Illinois Huskies (0-3, 0-0 MAC) vs. Eastern Illinois Panthers (1-1, 0-0 OVC)
Date: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tipoff: 1 p.m. CT
Location: NIU Convocation Center • DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM in DeKalb and WSCR 670-AM in Chicago.
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Northern Illinois and Eastern Illinois will meet in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at the NIU Convocation Center. The Huskies and Panthers are meeting for just the second time since 2004, the other meeting since then was a 73-70 win for Eastern Illinois on Feb. 20, 2010 in Charleston as part of the ESPN BracketBuster.
About Eastern Illinois
The Panthers were 9-20 a season ago under head coach Mike Miller, who is in his seventh season at Eastern Illinois. EIU is 1-1 early in the 2011-12 campaign, having opened the season with a 79-72 loss at Indiana State before defeating Loyola, 65-61, at home on Wednesday. The Panthers are shooting 47.3 percent as a team through two games and are also 91.3 percent from the free-throw line. Jeremy Granger was a preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection for the Panthers, who were picked to finish ninth in the OVC.
Against the Panthers
NIU holds a 45-42 lead in the all-time series against Eastern Illinois. The Panthers won the last meeting, 73-70, in Charleston, Ill., on Feb. 20, 2010 as part of the ESPN BracketBuster series. Sunday’s contest is the return game of that BracketBuster matchup. Prior to that game in 2010, NIU and EIU had not met since 2004. The last meeting between the Huskies and Panthers in DeKalb was an 83-76 NIU victory on Nov. 22, 2003, the Huskies have won four-straight in the series in DeKalb.
Kids on the Floor
With a roster featuring eight freshmen, youth will definitely be served for the 2011-12 Huskies. Through the first three games of the season, 57.8 percent of the minutes played in the NIU lineup have been played by first year players.
Through the first three games of the season, Tim Toler has been the consistent offensive presence for the Huskies. Toler scored 11 points in the first two games and added 10 points last time out against Iowa (Nov. 17). NIU has had just one other double-figure effort this season, 18 points from Abdel Nader at Iowa.
Balance Throughout the Lineup
After 10 different Huskies scored and all 11 Huskies that saw playing time recorded at least one rebound against UW-Milwaukee (Nov. 14), NIU continued with similar balance at Iowa (Nov. 17) as 12 players saw action, 10 of whom scored and 11 grabbed a rebound.
Bolin Hits Career Bests
Aksel Bolin collected new career-highs in both rebounds and assists last time out against UW-Milwaukee (Nov. 14). Bolin grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists in the contest. The Asker, Norway native nearly recorded NIU’s first double-double of the year, finishing with nine points to go along with his nine rebounds.
Freshmen twins Keith and Kevin Gray were the high rebounders in NIU’s season opener against Purdue. Kevin Gray grabbed a game-high seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action while his brother Keith pulled down five rebounds in 16 minutes of play. No player for the Boilermakers grabbed more than five rebounds in the contest.
NIU will return to the road next weekend as it goes west for a pair of games. The Huskies will begin the trip at Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 26, before going to Utah Valley on Monday, Nov. 28. Both games are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. CT.