NIU Junior Center James Hughes Named MAC West Division Men's Basketball Player Of The Week


Dec. 5, 2005

NIU Junior Center James Hughes Named MAC West Division Player Of The Week

DeKalb, IL – Northern Illinois University junior center James Hughes (Silvis/East Moline United) may have seen just 31 minutes of action in two games last week, but he made his time on the court worthwhile.

Hughes averaged 14.5 points and shot 76.5% (13-for-17) from the field to help the Huskies to victories over both DePaul and Toledo as NIU extended its winning streak to three games.

For his efforts, the Mid-American Conference named Hughes the West Division Player of the Week for the period ending December 4th.

“It’s a real nice honor for James and our team,” NIU head men’s basketball coach Rob Judson said. “He has made improvement on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court and his ability to finish plays that are created by his teammates has helped us be successful this season.”

Hughes opened up the week in fine fashion, tallying a game-high 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including six boards to help NIU (3-1) to the 77-68 victory over DePaul. Following the game, Hughes grabbed the Jay Goedert Memorial Award, given to the game’s most valuable player. The win over the Blue Demons marked NIU’s first ever win over a Big East opponent and the first time in the 28-game series history dating back to 1924-25 that the Huskies had taken two consecutive games from DePaul. The Huskies had defeated both Notre Dame and Marquette, but before they were members of the conference.

In NIU’s MAC opener against Toledo on Saturday, Hughes found himself in foul trouble as he played in only 11 minutes of the contest. The Silvis, IL, native, however, made the most of his opportunities, scoring 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting, as the Huskies earned the 73-69 triumph over the Rockets. That win snapped a 12-game MAC road-losing streak for NIU, and was just their fourth victory in Toledo in 26 tries.

For the season, Hughes is averaging 12.3 points per game and is shooting 66.7% (20-for-30) from the field.

NIU will be back in action on Tuesday, December 13th, as the Huskies will welcome Wright State University to the Convocation Center at 7:05 p.m. in a return bout from last season’s ESPN Bracket Buster contest.

(For further information, please contact Matt Brendich) - NIU –



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