Huskies Make Short Trip to Loyola on Wednesday

GO HUSKIES Sophomore guard Travon Baker
Sophomore guard Travon Baker

Dec. 17, 2013

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Northern Illinois Huskies (3-5, 0-0 MAC) at Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (5-5, 0-0 MVC)
Date / Time: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 / 7 p.m.
Site: Gentile Arena • Chicago, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin, Ill. • NIUTube (
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Loyola leads 17-16
Last Meeting: Nov. 24, 2012 • Loyola 53-46

Travon Baker has the third-best assist/turnover ratio in the MAC (2.2) and ranks 10th in the conference in assists per game (3.0).
Darrell Bowie is averaging 12.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game over the last five contests.
Pete Rakocevic is averaging 9.5 points per game over the last two games. Rakocevic is shooting 54.5 percent from the field in the last two contests and played a season-high 29 minutes last time out at UMass (Dec. 14).  
Dontel Highsmith has started the last four games averaging 8.8 points while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. Highsmith currently ranks fifth in the MAC in scoring among freshmen (7.4 ppg).
Aksel Bolin scored a season-high eight points against UMass (Dec. 14), Bolin recorded his 500th career point against the Minutemen.  

• Loyola brings a 5-5 overall record into Wednesday’s contest, and a 4-0 home record. The Ramblers have defeated UIC (Dec. 7) and Campbell (Dec. 13) in their last two after falling in overtime at Mississippi State (Dec. 1).
• Three Ramblers are averaging in double figures, led by Milton Doyle (16.5 ppg). Christian Thomas (14.0 ppg) and Jeff White (11.9 ppg) are also scoring in double figures.
• Loyola is shooting 49.5 percent from the field as a team, 25th best in the nation as of Dec. 15.
• The Huskies and Ramblers have played one common opponent, UW Milwaukee. Loyola defeated the Panthers, 76-72, in the season opener, while NIU fell to Milwaukee, 82-69.
• Former Huskie Tony Nixon is playing his final collegiate season at Loyola. Nixon graduated from NIU last spring; he is playing his final season with the Ramblers after redshirting during the 2012-13 season due to injury. Nixon has appeared in four games for Loyola.

• Wednesday’s contest will be the 34th all-time meeting between the Huskies and Ramblers; Loyola has won four-straight in the series and holds a 17-16 edge all-time.
• Loyola leads the series 11-5 in contests in Chicago. The Ramblers have won the last five home meeting against the Huskies with NIU’s last road win coming on Feb. 11, 1995 (74-65).
• NIU and Loyola are meeting for the second consecutive season, but just the fourth time since 2004. The Huskies and Ramblers were briefly members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference together from 1994-97.

• In the first meeting since 2008, NIU fell at home to Loyola, 53-46, last season on Nov. 24.
• The Ramblers led by one at the half and shot 56.3 percent in the second half to claim the seven-point victory.
• Just three players scored in double figures in last season’s meeting, none of the three are on either roster this season.
Daveon Balls made his first career start last season against Loyola; Balls scored six points and had four assists.
Tony Nixon played 10 minutes, scoring two points with one steal, for NIU in last season’s meeting. Nixon is now a member of the Loyola roster.

• NIU fell at No. 22 UMass, 80-54 (Dec. 14); Dontel Highsmith was the lone Huskie in double figures with 10 points.
Aksel Bolin scored a season-best eight points against the Minutemen. Bolin went 3-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from beyond the three-point arc.
• The Huskies recorded a season-high seven blocked shots against the Minutemen. Darrell Bowie and Jordan Threloff each had a pair of blocks. It marked the first time NIU has had more than five blocks in a game since recording six on Jan. 21, 2002 against Ball State.
• The loss dropped NIU to 2-29 all-time against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.

• The Huskies are in the middle of a stretch of four-straight road games, continuing at Loyola. NIU opened with five-straight home games before playing five of six, and seven of nine, away from home.
• NIU played just one home game in the month of December, a 64-57 victory over Dartmouth on Dec. 5.
• The month of December will see the Huskies travel from coast-to-coast, heading to UMass on Dec. 14 and UC Riverside on Dec. 22.
• The Huskies will travel a total of 6,502 miles during the month of December.
• NIU’s next home game will be on Friday, Jan. 3, when it hosts Bethune Cookman.



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