Huskies Head to Ypsilanti for Tilt Against Eastern Michigan Thursday

GO HUSKIES Jenna Thorp ranks second on the Huskies in rebounding.
Jenna Thorp ranks second on the Huskies in rebounding.

Jan. 29, 2013

DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its 38th meeting against Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, January 31 in Ypsilanti, Mich. at the Convocation Center. The Eagles have won the last seven meetings, including sweeping the regular season series last season. The last meeting was a 77-57 win for the Eagles in DeKalb on Feb. 18, 2012.

NIU-EMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Last Meeting
Eastern Michigan77
Northern Illinois57
February 18, 2012
DeKalb, Ill.
Huskie Defense Struggles to Contain EMU in 77-57 Loss
Northern Illinois women's basketball team's usual tough defense was not at the top of its game as Eastern Michigan shot 44.8 percent from the field to earn a 77-57 win on Saturday afternoon in a Mid-American Conference West Division game at the NIU Convocation Center.

Game Info
Date: Thursday, Jan. 31
Tip-Off: 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Ypsilanti, Mich.
Arena: Convocation Center
Live Stats:
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: EMU leads 28-9

NIU Info
2012-13 Record: 5-14, 0-6 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 2-5 | 1-8 | 2-1
Last Game: L, 44-42 vs. Toledo
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 327-225 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 31-48 (3rd year)
Record vs. EMU: 1-4

EMU Info
2012-13 Record: 4-15, 2-4 MAC
Home/Away/Neutral: 1-8 | 3-6 | 0-1
Last Game: L, 61-47 vs. Bowling Green
Head Coach: Tory Verdi
Career Record: 4-15 (1st year)
Record at EMU: 4-15 (1st year)
Record vs. NIU: First meeting

-- NIU is looking for its first Mid-American Conference win to end a 0-6 start in league play for the first time ever. Since joining the NCAA in 1982-83, NIU has never lost its first six games in conference play in any of its affiliations (Mid-American (1982-86, 1997-current), North Star (1987-92), Mid-Continent (1992-94), Midwestern Collegiate (1994-1997)). The Huskies' current seven-game losing streak is the first streak, winning or losing, of the season longer than two games and is tied for the longest losing streak under Bennett.

-- EMU leads the all-time series 28-9 and has won the last seven meetings, including sweeping the regular season series last season. NIU is 3-14 all-time at EMU and has not won there since 2005 (55-53 on 1-8-05), a streak of seven games. The last meeting was a 77-57 win for the Eagles in DeKalb on Feb. 18, 2012.

-- This game marks the beginning of a tough road stretch for the Huskies as they will play five of eight games away from DeKalb from Jan. 31 through Feb. 23. NIU is 1-8 on the road this season and 0-2 in MAC play. In MAC play under Bennett the Huskies are 6-12 on the road and 12-28 overall.

Scouting Eastern Michigan
The Eagles are 4-15, 2-4 in MAC play, under first-year Head Coach Tory Verdi. Their wins have come against Northeastern, UMKC, Western Michigan and Kent State. EMU has lost four of its last five games and is 1-8 at home this season. EMU is averaging 55.0 points per game while giving up 62.4. The Eagles are shooting 36.4 percent from the field and allowing a 40.9 percent rate to opponents.

Last Time Against Eastern Michigan
Both teams entered their last meeting with winning streaks -- NIU three, EMU six -- on Feb. 18, 2012, but it was EMU's that continued as the Eagles shot 44.8 percent and capitalized on a 20-12 turnover edge for a 23-10 differential in points off turnovers. EMU also outscored NIU 40-22 in the paint. A 27-12 EMU run to end the first half and 12-0 second half run kept NIU away from victory in a 77-57 decision.

Huskies Give MAC Preseason Favorite Toledo All It Could Handle
NIU missed two good chances to beat MAC preseason favorite Toledo in the last 20 seconds in a game that featured eight lead changes, six ties and only a five-point differential as the largest lead for either side on Jan. 26. The Huskies led 42-41 with 1:54 left but gave up a layup 14 seconds later and Amanda Corral was unable to get a quality shot up on NIU's last two possessions. The 44-42 loss was NIU's second by less than three.

Second Half Surge Falls Short Against WMU
On Jan. 23, an 11-3 run by Western Michigan to end the last 5:25 of the first half left NIU down 22-16. Then to open the second half, the Broncos went on a 19-9 spurt to grab their largest lead of the game, 41-25, with 13:05 left. But NIU climbed back thanks to Satavia Taylor, who jump-started a 17-4 Huskie run with eight points during the run. Taylor scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the second half and helped NIU get within three points late in the game, but the Huskies never got over the hump to tie or grab the lead.

Chips Trip Huskies
On Jan. 19, Central Michigan handed NIU its largest loss of the season by scoring the most points against NIU all season in an 83-56 win in Mount Pleasant, Mich. A 42-19 scoring edge for CMU in the second half built on a slim 41-37 halftime lead, despite the Huskies' 61.5 percent first half shooting performance. A CMU 19-4 run in the middle of the second half sealed the deal. For the game, CMU held edges over NIU in points off turnovers (17-6), second chance points (12-3), fast break points (13-2) and bench points (38-12).

Huskies Slow Akron, But Not Enough for a Win
Akron entered Jan. 16th'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. NIU fell to 0-4 in MAC play for the third straight year.

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. NIU's 9-for-15 day from three-point range was a season best in attempts and threes made as well.

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 career high 6.1 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 0-13 when trailing. They are 4-1 when committing less turnovers than their opponent and 1-13 when having more. They are 5-3 when scoring more points off turnovers than their opponent and 0-11 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 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. Her streak of double digit scoring efforts ended at seven at Valparaiso (nine points). Her scoring average per game is up to a career high mark of 13.0, which ranks sixth in the MAC. She also is fifth in the MAC in free throw percentage (77.8%), sixth in three-point percentage (39.2%) and 15th in field goal percentage (41.3%).

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 fourth in the MAC with a 40.6 three-point percentage and 12th in scoring (11.8 points per game). NIU leads the MAC and ranks 21st in the NCAA in threes percentage (35.8%).

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 431-461 (.483) 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).

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 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 and will be on as well.

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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