NIU Treks to Central Michigan for Saturday Game

GO HUSKIES Natecia Augusta leads NIU in field goal percentage (63.3%).
Natecia Augusta leads NIU in field goal percentage (63.3%).

Jan. 17, 2013

DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its 43rd meeting against Central Michigan at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 19 at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich. The Huskies lost to CMU twice last season and have dropped three straight in Mount Pleasant.

NIU-CMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois50
Central Michigan73
February 22, 2012
Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Huskies Drop 73-50 Decision at Central Michigan
With the Mid-American Conference regular season winding down next week, the standings and battle for hosting a first round MAC Tournament were jumbled up as the Northern Illinois women's basketball team dropped a 73-50 decision to Central Michigan on Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena.

Game Info
Date: Saturday, Jan. 19
Tip-Off: 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Arena: McGuirk Arena
Live Stats:
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: Tied 21-21

NIU Info
2012-13 Record: 5-11, 0-3 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 2-3 | 1-7 | 2-1
Last Game: L, 63-52 vs. Akron
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 327-222 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 31-45 (3rd year)
Record vs. CMU: 2-2

Central Michigan Info
2012-13 Record: 9-7, 3-0 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 5-2 | 2-5 | 2-0
Last Game: W, 72-58 vs. Western Michigan
Head Coach: Sue Guevara
Career Record: 208-171 (13th year)
Record at CMU: 85-89 (6th year)
Record vs. NIU: 7-5

-- NIU is looking for its first Mid-American Conference win to avoid a 0-4 start in league play for the third straight season. The Huskies' current four-game losing streak is the first streak, winning or losing, of the season longer than two games.

-- The all-time series between Northern Illinois and Central Michigan is tied 21-21 after the Chippewas swept the series last season. CMU has won three straight and is 12-6 all-time at home against NIU. The Huskies fell 73-50 in the last meeting on Feb. 22, 2012 at CMU. In DeKalb last season, the Huskies dropped an 86-67 decision on Jan. 5, 2012.

-- This road game is sandwiched during NIU's longest home stretch of the season with four home games in a five-game span from Jan. 13-26. The Huskies are 2-3 at home this season and 17-16 overall under Bennett. Five of the Huskies' first eight MAC games are at home this season. NIU is 1-7 on the road thus far.

Scouting Central Michigan
After finishing as the runner-up by one point in the 2012 MAC Championship game, the Chippewas are 9-7. 3-0 in MAC play, and have won three straight games and four of their last five under sixth-year head coach Sue Guevara. CMU is 5-2 at home this season and 2-0 in MAC home games. CMU is averaging 73.7 points per game and allowing 68.9. The Chips are shooting 41.5 percent from the field and surrendering a 41.7 percent rate to opponents.

Last Time Against Central Michigan
A 15-0 Central Michigan run in the first half and 27-8 run to end the final 12:15 of the first half gave the Chippewas a 41-27 lead at half that was too large to overcome. NIU used a 12-0 run in middle of the second half to get back within striking distance at 53-41, but did not got any closer the rest of the way. CMU held edges in turnovers (19-13), rebounds (45-35), steals (10-4), points in the paint (26-12) and points off turnovers (17-8).

Huskies Slow Akron, But Not Enough for a Win
Akron entered Wednesday's game on a hot streak -- the Zips had won their last three games by a margin of over 36 points per game. The Huskies trailed by just one at half, 31-30, after making 10 of their first 14 shots and lost by 11 points. A tough 18-2 run in the second half ended NIU's hopes of ending Akron's winning streak. NIU held the nation's 10th-best scoring team to 15 points less than their season average and allowed only a 39.3 shooting percentage. The win for Akron was just its second-ever in DeKalb as the Huskies are now 8-2 all-time at home against the Zips.

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.

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 Norfolk State 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 seventh-best 78.8 percent on free throws and is averaging a career high 6.8 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 0-10 when trailing. They are 4-1 when committing less turnovers than their opponent and 1-10 when having more. They are 5-2 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 150 points her last 11 games, the most she's scored in 11 straight games in her young career, and has raised her scoring average per game to a career high mark of 13.1, which ranks sixth in the MAC. Her streak of double digit scoring efforts ended at seven at Valparaiso as she scored nine points. Corral also ranks sixth in the MAC in free throw percentage (80%), ninth in three-point percentage (37.7%) and 13th in field goal percentage (41.7%).

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 a Huskie has scored this season by five points. She ranks sixth in the MAC with a 40.4 three-point percentage and 16th in scoring (10.7 points per game). NIU leads the MAC in threes percentage (35.1%)

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 431-458 (.484) 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/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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