Jan. 3, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its 21st meeting against Valparaiso at 1:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the ARC in Valparaiso, Ind. The teams last met on Feb. 12, 1994 in DeKalb and the Huskies won 101-92.
NIU-Valpo Game Notes
Date: Saturday, Jan. 5
Tip-Off: 1:30 p.m. CT
Location: Valparaiso, Ind.
Arena: The ARC
Webcast: Horizon League Network
Live Stats: ValpoAthletics.com
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: NIU leads 19-1
Northern Illinois Info
2012-13 Record: 5-7
Home/Away/Neutral: 2-1 | 1-5 | 2-1
Last Game: W, 69-38 vs. Norfolk State
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 327-218 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 31-41 (3rd year)
Record vs. VU: 1-2
2012-13 Record: 4-8
Home/Away/Neutral: 3-1 | 1-7 | 0-0
Last Game: W, 58-53 vs. Ball State
Head Coach: Tracey Dorow
Career Record: 238-176 (15th year)
Record at VU: 4-8 (1st year)
Record vs. NIU: First meeting
-- NIU owns an impressive 19-1 record against Valparaiso, but it's been 19 years since the last meeting when both teams were in the Mid-Continent Conference. The lone Crusaders win came on Feb. 18, 1992 in Valparaiso, 101-91. The series dates back as far as 1963. NIU has won the last five meetings, including a 101-92 victory in DeKalb in the last match-up on Feb. 12, 1994 during NIU's 18-0 run in MCC play in 1993-94.
-- NIU is looking to post back-to-back wins for the second time this season and 10th time under Kathi Bennett. The Huskies have not had a streak, winning or losing, longer than two games all season.
-- The Huskies are in a season long five-game road trip. Featuring five games in four states from Dec. 22 - Jan. 10, NIU will travel over 3,100 miles on the trip. NIU is 15-14 at home under Bennett and 16-27 elsewhere. The Huskies are currently 1-2 on the excursion.
Coming off a 10-21 (5-13 Horizon League) season in 2011-12, the Crusaders are 4-8 under first year head coach Tracey Dorow, who went 232-163 in 14 seasons as head coach at Division II Ferris State. She was the 2003-04 GLIAC Coach of the Year and led FSU to a pair of conference championships and a Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2007. After winning its first two games this season, Valpo has lost eight of its last 10, but is coming off a 58-53 home win over Ball State last Saturday. The Crusaders are 3-1 at home this season. They are scoring 57.7 points per game and allowing 69.3. Valpo is shooting 37.4 percent from the field and giving up a 41.4 percent clip.
Sharing the Win
In NIU's 69-38 win over Norfolk State last Saturday, the Huskies racked up 14 assists on 21 baskets, including 10 on 11 first half field goals. NIU largest winning margin of the year yielded its second highest assist total of the season, coming short of the 19 it had at Morehead State. Jenna Thorp handed out the most versus NSU with a career high five assists.
Long Range Lindstrom
One of the huge keys to the NSU win was the performance of freshman Alexis Lindstrom, who went 5-for-5 on three-pointers for a season- and game-high 17 points. She went 4-for-4 in the first half to help NIU grab a 40-20 lead and then hit her only three of the second half to come one three shy of Satavia Taylor's NIU record set earlier this season. For the season, Lindstrom is a cool 8-for-12 from long range. NIU's 9-for-15 day from three-point range was a season best in attempts and threes made.
Defenses Need to Adjust to Augusta
For the second time in her career, Natecia Augusta posted back-to-back double digit scoring efforts as she scored a team-high 14 points versus Xavier and added 12 against Norfolk State at the 2012 Cavalier Classic. Her 13 points and three rebounds per game earned her an all-tournament selection as she went 8-for-11 on field goals and 10-for-10 on free throws. For the season, she is shooting a MAC fifth best 80.6 percent on free throws and is averaging a career high 7.9 points per game. She has scored eight or more points in her last five.
Common Threads to Victory
Three factors have all rang true in NIU's five wins this season -- holding a halftime lead, winning the turnover battle and capitalizing on turnovers. The Huskies are 5-1 when leading at the half and 0-6 when trailing. They are 4-1 when committing less turnovers than their opponent and 1-6 when having more. They are 5-1 when scoring more points off turnovers than their opponent and 0-6 when scoring less.
After missing all but six minutes of the South Dakota State game and the whole Bradley game due to a left ankle sprain, Amanda Corral has returned as good as ever versus Loyola, Indiana State, DePaul, Eastern Illinois, Illinois Chicago, Xavier and Norfolk State. She scored a season-high 19 points in each of the first two games, added 15 versus DePaul, 10 against EIU, 19 again at UIC, 11 versus Xavier and 11 against Norfolk State. The 104 points in her last seven games are the most she's scored in seven straight games in her young career and has raised her scoring average per game to a career high mark of 12.9, which ranks seventh in the MAC.
Corral Again Named MAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week
On Dec. 18, the league office announced Amanda Corral as the Mid-American Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week for the second time in three weeks. She had 15 points, six rebounds and two assists against DePaul to earn the honor as she boasts a 4.0 GPA in health sciences. Corral garnered the award for the first time in her career on Dec. 6 after she scored 19 points with four rebounds and an assist and block in a win over Loyola.
Tay and the Trey
NIU ranks first in the MAC in 3-point percentage (34.8%). A large reason for the three-point percentage is Satavia Taylor, who ranks eighth in the MAC with a 38.5 percentage. Her 6-for-6 game against Morehead State set the NIU record for accuracy behind the arc in a game.
Huskies have 2-1 Showing in Preseason WNIT
In their second-ever Preseason WNIT appearance, the Huskies fell at Iowa in the first round but rebounded strong in the consolation rounds. NIU beat Davidson 64-61 and then cruised past Morehead State 76-46 for a 2-1 record to start the season -- the third 2-1 start for Bennett in three years as NIU head coach.
Huskies Playing 20th Season in NCAA Division I
Overall, the Huskies are 430-453 (.488) in 20 seasons of Division I play. NIU has been to the NCAA Tournament five times (1989-90, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95).
Building on Bennett's Year 2 Success
Entering Year 3 of the Kathi Bennett era, the 300-win coach has the NIU women's basketball program pointed in the right direction. The Huskies tallied two wins in the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time since 2007. Last season, the Huskies posted a 14-17 overall record, 6-10 in MAC play, with a team full of underclassmen that can build on the experience, especially after closing the season winning eight of the last 14 contests.
Bennett Extended through the 2017 Season
On Aug. 22, 2012, NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced a contract extension through the 2017 season for Bennett. In her first season in 2010-11, Bennett went 13-17 (7-9 MAC) to improve the win total by 30 percent overall, 75 percent in conference, from the 2009-10 team that she inherited. In her second season, she pushed the 2011-12 Huskies to one win better (14-17, 6-10 MAC) than her first year and made a splash in the MAC Tournament with a youthful roster full of nine underclassmen.
NIU Picked to Finish 4th in the MAC West
The Mid-American Conference coaches and media chose the Huskies to finish fourth in the MAC West Division for the second straight year in the MAC Preseason Poll.
NIU on TV
Sunday, Feb. 3 against at Miami (OH) at 1 p.m. CT will mark NIU's lone TV appearance of the season. The game will be produced by the MAC's regional cable partner SportsTime Ohio.
On the Air
Every NIU basketball game of the 2012-13 season can be heard on the Northern Illinois Sports Network, presented by IMG. Home and away games will air on WLBK 98.9 FM and 1360 AM and Huskie All-Access at NIUHuskies.com. Home games can also be watched with live video through Huskie All-Access.