Huskies Host Defending MAC Champs Tuesday



Jan. 31, 2011

Northern Illinois (9-12, 3-5 MAC) vs. Bowling Green (17-4, 5-3 MAC)
 Date Tuesday, February 1, 2011 • 7 p.m. (CST)
 Location DeKalb, Ill. • Convocation Center
 On the Air
Huskie All-Access (Live Audio/Video) • 1360 WLBK-AM (DeKalb) NIU Games Notes Get Acrobat Reader | BGSU Game Notes | GameTracker
 All-Time Series BGSU leads 18-12
 Bennett Versus Bennett has never faced Bowling Green


DeKALB - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team looks for its fourth win in fives games when the Huskies host defending Mid-American Conference Champion Bowling Green, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the NIU Convocation Center.


• Winners of three-of-four, with the only loss coming in overtime to MAC East leader Kent State, the Huskies are on the best roll since early in the year, when NIU won four-of-five. First year head coach Kathi Bennett continues to express approval, but not satisfaction with her team's improvement.

Marke Freeman continues her campaign for MAC Player of the Year. Freeman ranks in the league's top-10 in six categories. The senior is seventh in scoring (16.5 ppg), ninth in rebounding (8.0 rpg), free throw percentage (82.6 pct.), first in steals (3.00 spg), defensive rebounds (7.00 drpg), and minutes played (35.9 mpg).

Key Number: 17

Senior guard Marke Freeman had a career-high 17 rebounds in the game against Ohio. It was the fifth-most rebounds by any player in the MAC this season, and the most by any guard. Freeman tallied eight boards in the first half and added nine more in the second. It was her fourth double-digit rebounding game of the year.

Can't Miss This

Northern Illinois is on a hot streak, winning three of its last four games. NIU defeated Ball State and Miami (Ohio) at home before falling at MAC East leader Kent State in overtime. Most recently, Northern Illinois defeated Ohio on the road, 56-48. The Huskies are one win shy of tying their 2009-10 overall and conference victory totals of 10 and four. NIU plays three of its next four games at home, a prime opportunity to extend those winning ways. 

The Series

Bowling Green leads the all-time series 18-12. NIU led the series 12-10 before a run of eight consecutive victories by the Falcons, dating back to 2005. The Huskies' last win over BGSU came in a four-overtime thriller in 2004. NIU won 102-97 decision, which matched the longest game in NCAA history. The Huskies set the NCAA record for points by one team in OT (43), and the pair broke the mark for combined points in extra time with 81.


Ohio became another victim of Kathi Bennett's signature pack defense. The Bobcats were the fourth team this season the Huskies have held to less than 50 points. NIU stifled Ohio from the field, allowing only 25.9 percent shooting. It was the worst shooting night by an NIU opponent this season. The outing was the second time the Huskies have held an opponent to less than 30 percent shooting from the field, and the 10th time NIU has limited its opponent to below 40 percent shooting.

Chasing 1,000

Ebony Ellis is 121 points off from 1,000, and would need to average 13.4 ppg in NIU's nine guaranteed games to reach a grand. If NIU wins a first-round MAC Tournament game, Eillis would need to average just 12.1 ppg. Currently, Ellis 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.

Three's Company

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 Huskies have hit 39.9 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. 


Marke Freeman, often the shortest player on the court at 5-foot-5, ranks ninth in the MAC in rebounding with 8.0 rpg in league games. Freeman had a jaw-dropping 17 rebounds against Ohio, the fifth-most among all players in the MAC this season. She has also had games with 12 (twice) and 11 boards this season.



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