Jan. 28, 2011
|Northern Illinois (8-12, 2-5 MAC) vs. Ohio (6-14, 1-6 MAC)
||Saturday, January 29, 2011 • 1 p.m. CDT
||Athens, Ohio • Convocation Center
| On the Air
||Huskie All-Access (Live Audio/Video) • 1360 WLBK-AM (DeKalb)
||NIU Games Notes | Ohio Game Notes | GameTracker
| All-Time Series
| Bennett Versus
||Bennett is 1-0 against Ohio
ATHENS, Ohio - The Northern Illinois women’s basketball finishes a two-game trip to the Buckeye State with a game against Ohio, Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.
• Ohio was without their top scorer Tenishia Benson in an 85-40 loss to Eastern Michigan, Wednesday night. She sat out with an injury to an orbital bone and it is unclear whether she will play Saturday against the Huskies. Benson is the only player for Ohio averaging double-figure scoring with 13.5 points per game.
• NIU has been rebounding the ball exceptionally well during Mid-American Conference play. After outrebounding their opponents by just 0.9 boards per game during non-league action, the Huskies hold a +6.1 rebounding margin in league games. Only Ohio, at +8.2, has a better margin on the glass in conference play.
Key Number: 71
Marke Freeman has scored 71 points in the last three games. She was named MAC West Player of the Week for the second time this year. Against BSU, she scored 30 points for the fifth time in her career. Freeman scored 28 in NIU’s win over Miami. Last week she averaged 29.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game.
Can't Miss This
Senior center Ebony Ellis could have been in the running for MAC West Player of the Week just as easily as Marke Freeman, this week’s winner, was. Ellis averaged a double-double with 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as NIU beat Ball State and Miami (Ohio) by a combined 18 points. Ellis’ rebounding proved critical to victory in each game. As a team, the Huskies held a +11.5 rebounding margin, including a 17-board advantage over the RedHawks.
The series between Northern Illinois and Ohio is tied 13-13. NIU has won the last two meetings, including a 68-61 decision in DeKalb last year. Last time the teams faced eachother in Athens, the Huskies beat the Bobcats, 67-59.
Last Time Versus the Bobcats
The Northern Illinois women’s basketball team held Ohio to just 18 first-half points en route to a 68-61 victory at the Convocation Center, Wednesday night.
Mauvolyene Adams tallied her ninth double-double of the season with team-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Adams connected on 7-of-11 shots from the field and hit 6-of-8 free throws.
It was the Huskie defense in the first half that allowed NIU to build a 21-point advantage after 20 minutes. Northern Illinois held Ohio to just 26.7 percent (7-of-26) shooting from the field and scored 13 points off of 12 Bobcat turnovers.
Freeman finished the night with one of her best all-around performances in recent memory, commanding the court for 19 points, five assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Sarah Rogers (Chicago, Ill./Marshall) also stood out individually with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
On the Air
Every NIU basketball game of the 2010-11 season can be heard on the Northern Illinois Sports Network, Presented by IMG. Women’s games home and away can be heard on 1360-AM WLBK and Huskie All-Access at NIUHuskies.com. Home games can also be watched live through Huskie All-Access.
Ebony Ellis is 129 points off from 1,000, and would need to average 12.9 ppg in NIU’s 10 guaranteed games to reach a grand. Ellis averaged 12.0 points per game last season, despite battling a foot injury for the bulk of the year, and, is averaging 10.6 points per game this season. If Ellis joins Freeman in the esteemed club, it would be the first time two Huskies passed the milestone in one season since Kristan Knake and Jennifer Youngblood did so in the 2002-03 season.
NIU stands as the most accurate three-point shooting team in the MAC, and the fifth-best three-point shooting team in the nation. The Huskiest have hit 40.5 percent of their attempts from distance, including knocking in 4-of-5 (80.0 percent) and 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) against UNI and SIU, respectively.
On the Mark-e
Marke Freeman would rank ninth in the nation in three-point shooting, hitting 44.4 percent of her threes, but she falls four triples short of the 2.0 makes per game minimum to qualify. She has hit 36-of-81 attempts, including a 3-for-3 night at UNI and a 4-of-4 game against Northwestern.
Against Ball State, the Huskies were up by as many as 21 points (33-12 and 44-23) before eventually beating the Cardinals by 11. The last time NIU led by that much was on February 2, 2010, when the Huskies led Ohio 39-18 at halftime of a 68-61 victory.
Failure to Launch
Toledo’s offense managed only 42 points against a stifling NIU defense. It was the fewest points allowed by the Huskies since a 68-42 win over Central Michigan in 2006. It was the fewest points given up to an opponent in a loss since a 42-27 defeat to Wisconsin in 1974.
Defense Locking On
The Huskies are beginning to get the hang of Kathi Bennett’s signature “pack” defense. NIU has held opponents to 40 percent shooting nine times this year. The Huskies are 4-5 in those games. NIU has limited its opponents to less than 40 percent shooting in all but two MAC games, with league opponents shooting just 37.5 percent against the Huskies.