NIU Set to Host Akron Wednesday

GO HUSKIES Head Coach Kathi Bennett and Co. are 17-15 at home over the last three seasons.
Head Coach Kathi Bennett and Co. are 17-15 at home over the last three seasons.

Jan. 14, 2013

DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its 26th meeting against Akron at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Convocation Center. The Huskies beat Akron twice last season, including in the MAC Tournament Second Round in Cleveland 61-60 on March 7, 2012.

NIU-Akron Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois61
Akron (MAC Tournament 2nd Round)60
March 7, 2012
Cleveland, Ohio (Quicken Loans Arena)
Davis' Put-Back Lifts No. 7 NIU over No. 6 Akron in MAC Second Round
Senior forward Kim Davis (Evanston, Ill./Evanston) has lived on the offensive glass all season. Her grittiness greatly benefitted Northern Illinois as she scrapped Courtney Shelton's (Rockford, Ill./Hononegah) miss and laid it in amongst traffic with six seconds left to give No. 7 NIU a 61-60 win over No. 6 Akron on Wednesday afternoon in the second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena.

Game Info
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16
Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: DeKalb, Ill.
Arena: Convocation Center
Webcast: Huskie All-Access
Live Stats:
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: NIU leads 18-7

NIU Info
2012-13 Record: 5-10, 0-2 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 2-2 | 1-7 | 2-1
Last Game: L, 57-51 vs. Ball State
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 327-221 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 31-44 (3rd year)
Record vs. Akron: 2-1

Akron Info
2012-13 Record: 11-4, 2-0 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 5-2 | 6-2 | 0-0
Last Game: W, 93-58 vs. Kent State
Head Coach: Jodi Kest
Career Record: 311-267 (21st year)
Record at Akron: 85-114 (7th year)
Record vs. NIU: 1-0

-- NIU is looking to avoid a 0-3 start in Mid-American Conference play for the third straight season. The Huskies' current three-game losing streak is the first streak, winning or losing, of the season longer than three games.

-- This game presents a rematch of last year's MAC Tournament Second Round game in which then-senior Kim Davis hit the game-winning layup with six seconds left for No. 7 NIU to upset No. 6 Akron 61-60 in Cleveland on March 7, 2012. NIU leads the all-time series over Akron 18-7 and has won two straight. The Huskies are 8-1 at home versus the Zips.

-- With this game, NIU continues its longest home stretch of the season with four home games in a five-game span from Jan. 13-26. The Huskies are 2-2 at home this season and 17-15 overall under Bennett. Five of the Huskies' first eight MAC games are at home this season.

Scouting Akron
The Zips are 11-4 and 2-0 in MAC play in their seventh season under head coach Jodi Kest. They are on a three-game winning streak with all being decisive wins. Akron won 86-45 at Chicago State on Jan. 3, 81-54 at Ohio on Jan. 10 and 93-58 against Kent State on Jan. 13. The Zips are an impressive 6-2 on the road this season. Akron is averaging 78.0 points per game and is allowing 62.1. The Zips are shooting 44.4 percent from the field and allowing foes to shoot 35.4 percent.

Last Time Against Akron
A 22-11 Akron run midway through the second half erased NIU's solid lead it held since midway through the first half. With Akron hanging on to a three-point lead with 1:23 left, a Huskie defensive stop led to a Courtney Shelton floater with 33 seconds left. After Akron missed on a one-and-one free throw with 31 seconds left, NIU secured the rebound, called timeout and set up a play with 18 seconds left. Shelton's shot on the play was off but Kim Davis was there to scrap the rebound in traffic and lay the ball in with six seconds left to give NIU its first two-win MAC Tournament appearance since 2007.

Turnovers Doom NIU Against Ball State
In NIU's MAC home opener, 25 turnovers (19 unforced) helped Ball State claim a 57-51 win on Jan. 13. NIU's second-highest turnover total of the year led to 21 BSU points. Two straight threes by Satavia Taylor gave NIU a 45-43 lead with 10:42 left but a 10-2 run by the Cardinals gave them the lead for good. BSU outscored NIU in the paint 28-8. NIU fell to 0-3 in MAC home openers under Bennett.

Buffalo Bruises Way to MAC Opener Win
Despite an 18-point effort by Amanda Corral on Jan. 10, it was not enough to overcome 20 turnovers and a 25-for-34 to 8-for-13 free throw disparity for Buffalo in a 60-53 loss on the road, ending a season long five-game road trip for NIU with a 1-4 record. The trip covered over 3,100 miles from Dec. 22-Jan. 10. The loss dropped NIU to 6-13 in MAC openers and 0-3 under Bennett. The win also gave Buffalo just its fourth-ever against NIU and first-ever in Buffalo as NIU was 13-3 overall and 6-0 in Buffalo in the series prior to the game.

Crusaders Earn Rare Win Over NIU
The Huskies' 54-49 loss on Jan. 5 at Valparaiso gave the Crusaders their second win in 21 all-time meetings against NIU and ended a five-game losing streak in the series that was resumed for the first time since 1994. Satavia Taylor led NIU with 16 points, 10 in the second half, as the Huskies nearly overcame an 11-point first half deficit. NIU had three chances in the final minute of the game to tie or take the lead.

Sharing the Win
In NIU's 69-38 win over Norfolk State on Dec. 29, 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 11-for-22 from long range. NIU's 9-for-15 day from three-point range was a season best in attempts and threes made.

Augusta Earns All-Tournament Nod
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 sixth-best 80.6 percent on free throws and is averaging a career high 6.6 points per game.

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 0-9 when trailing. They are 4-1 when committing less turnovers than their opponent and 1-9 when having more. They are 5-1 when scoring more points off turnovers than their opponent and 0-9 when scoring less.

Corral-ing Points
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. She has 137 points her last 10 games, the most she's scored in 10 straight games in her young career, and has raised her scoring average per game to a career high mark of 13.1, which ranks eighth in the MAC. Her streak of double digit scoring efforts ended at seven at Valparaiso as she scored nine points. Corral also ranks seventh in the MAC in free throw percentage (80%) and 12th in three-point percentage (37.0%)

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
Satavia Taylor's 6-for-6 three-point performance against Morehead State set the NIU record for accuracy behind the arc in a game. She also went a perfect 4-for-4 against Ball State en route to a career-high 24 points, the most any Huskie has scored this season by five points. She ranks fifth in the MAC with a 41.5 three-point percentage.

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.

NIU Inks Two Impressive Frontcourt Players for 2013-14
In the early signing period in November, the Huskies received National Letters of Intent from 6'0" combo player Jazmine Harris (West Allis, Wis./Heritage Christian) and 5'10" do-it-all player Ally Lehman (Nineveh, Ind./Indian Creek). Both were all-state selections as juniors as Harris averaged 12.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while Lehman netted 26 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 4.4 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Huskies Playing 20th Season in NCAA Division I
Overall, the Huskies are 431-457 (.486) 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.

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 Home games can also be watched with live video through Huskie All-Access.




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