NIU Opens Road Slate at Nebraska

GO HUSKIES Sophomore guard Travon Baker
GO HUSKIES
Sophomore guard Travon Baker
GO HUSKIES

Nov. 29, 2013

Game Notes in PDF

Northern Illinois Huskies (2-3) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-2)
Date / Time:  Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 / 12 p.m. CT
Site: Pinnacle Bank Arena • Lincoln, Neb.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • NIUTube (NIUHuskies.com)
Live Stats: Huskers.com
Live Video: Big Ten Digital Network (video.btn.com)
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Nebraska leads 2-1
Last meeting: Feb. 18, 1991 • Nebraska 82-73

ABOUT NEBRASKA
• The Cornhuskers enter Saturday’s contest with a 4-2 record after going 1-2 last weekend at the Charleston Classic. Nebraska lost to UMass, who NIU will face on Dec. 14, and UAB before closing the tournament with a win over Georgia.
• Four players average in double figures for the Cornhuskers, led by 16.7 points per game from Terran Petteway. Shavon Shields (13.3 ppg), Deverell Biggs (10.5 ppg) and Ray Gallegos (10.0) also score in double figures.
• As a team Nebraska is shooting 37.4 percent from behind the three-point line, third-best in the Big Ten.
• Nebraska is 3-0 in its new home, Pinnacle Bank Arena, $179 million dollar, 15,000-seat facility that opened this fall.

THE ALL-TIME SERIES
• This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the Huskies and Cornhuskers, the first since 1991.
• Nebraska leads the all-time series, 2-1. The home team has won each of the previous three meetings.
• The Cornhuskers won the last meeting, 82-73; Rich King scored 40 points to lead Nebraska. Four Huskies scored in double figures, led by 16 from Donald Whiteside. Nebraska entered the contest ranked 17th in the AP poll.
• The 1990-91 Huskies went on to post a 25-6 record and reach the NCAA Tournament, falling to St. John’s in the first round. The Cornhuskers also reached the NCAA Tournament, going 26-8, falling to Xavier in the first round of the NCAAs.

REACHING THE CENTURY MARK
• NIU’s 111 points last time out against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) marked the first time the Huskies have reached the century mark since a 102-61 win over Aurora University on Nov. 19, 2005.
• The Huskies went 239 games between 100-point performances.
• The 111 points was the most by NIU since Dec. 6, 2000, when it defeated Rockford College, 121-88.
• NIU’s 50-point margin of victory over Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) was its largest since Nov. 24, 1994, when the Huskies defeated Rockford College, 121-70 (51).
• Darrell Bowie’s 23 points and J.J. Cravatta’s 20 marked the first time two Huskies scored 20 in a game since Jan. 16, 2010 against Eastern Michigan (Xavier Silas 25, Darion Anderson 22).

WHERE THEY RANK
• NIU ranks second in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing just 66.0 points per game. The Huskies are third in the league in field goal percentage defense (.399) and second in three-point field goal defense (.284).
• The Huskies lead the MAC in rebounding offense (44.4) and rebounding margin (+10.4).
• NIU also leads the conference in offensive rebounds (17.4) and defensive rebounds (27.0). The Huskies top the MAC in defensive rebounding percentage (.742) and rank second in offensive rebounding percentage (.414).
Travon Baker leads the MAC in assist/turnover ratio at 3.8; he has 15 assists and just four turnovers this season.
Jordan Threloff leads the league in field goal percentage shooting 68.2 percent (15-of-22).
Darrell Bowie is tied for seventh in the MAC in rebounding, averaging 7.0 rebounds per contest.

HITTING THE ROAD
• Saturday’s trip to Lincoln is the first road game of the year for NIU. The Huskies played their first five games of the season at home.
• The five-game homestand to begin the season marked the first time NIU had played its first five games at home since 1941-42.
• This season’s Nov. 30 first road game is the latest date for NIU’s first road game since 1996-97. The Huskies played two home games that year before traveling for the first time on Nov. 30, a 98-70 loss at Southern Illinois. The previous season (1995-96), NIU didn’t play a road game until Dec. 4, at Wichita State, opening with four-straight at home.
• The trip to Pinnacle Bank Arena marks the second consecutive season the Huskies have played their first road game in the State of Nebraska. Last season, NIU opened on the road at Nebraska Omaha.
• After opening with five consecutive home games, NIU will play five of its next six, and seven of its next nine, away from home.
• NIU’s next game will be at home against Dartmouth on Dec. 5, that contest will be the Huskies’ final home game of 2013.
• The December slate will take the Huskies from coast-to-coast, traveling to UMass on Dec. 14 and UC Riverside on Dec. 22.

SAINT JOSEPH’S (IND.) RECAP
• NIU defeated Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) last time out, 111-61. Four Huskies scored in double figures led by a career-high 23 points from Darrell Bowie. J.J. Cravatta netted a career-best 20; Aaron Armstead added 13 and Marin Maric chipped in a career-high 12 points in the win.
• Bowie had 12 rebounds to go along with his 23 points, recording his first career double-double.
• The Huskies’ 111 points were the most scored during Mark Montgomery’s two-plus year tenure. NIU’s previous high under Montgomery was 74 (vs. Central Michigan on Jan. 14, 2012 and Jan. 23, 2013).
• Other marks that were highs during Montgomery’s tenure included field goals (41), field goal attempts (81), rebounds (67) and assists (19).
Daveon Balls registered a career-best eight assists in the contest.
• NIU committed just 10 turnovers in the contest; the Huskies have committed 12-or-fewer turnovers in four of their five games this season.
• The Huskie bettered the Pumas in the paint 60-20, on second chance points 41-9, and off the bench 62-19.

LEADING THE WAY
• NIU sophomore Darrell Bowie leads the Huskies in both scoring (12.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg).
• Bowie has recorded a new career scoring high in three of NIU’s five games this season.
• Bowie’s career best entering the year was 13 points, at Akron on Jan. 12, 2013. In the season opener he broke that mark with 16 points against Nebraska Omaha (Nov. 8). He then set a new mark with 19 against Milwaukee (Nov. 17) and reached his current career-high of 23 against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) (Nov. 24).
• Bowie has scored in double figures in three of NIU’s first games this season; he reached double figures six times all of last year.
• The sophomore from Milwaukee also grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) for his first career double-double.
• Bowie is shooting just 62.9 percent from the free-throw line this season, but has converted 18-of-25 free throw attempts in the last two games (72 percent).
 
FINDING A RHYTHM
• Sophomore Daveon Balls has scored in double figures twice this season after reaching the double figure plateau just one as a freshman a year ago.
• Balls scored 13 points in the season opener against Nebraska Omaha (Nov. 8), then a career-high, before bettering that mark with 15 points against San Jose State (Nov. 16).
• Balls ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 8.2 points per contest. He is shooting 45.7 percent from the field.
• The Indianapolis, Ind., native also recorded a career best eight assists last time out against Saint Joseph’s (Ind.). Balls is currently 15th in the MAC in assists averaging 2.6 per contest.