Feb. 15, 2011
|Northern Illinois (10-14, 4-7 MAC) vs. Central Michigan (16-7, 8-3 MAC)
||Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 • 7 p.m. (CST)
||DeKalb, Ill. • Convocation Center
| On the Air
||Huskie All-Access (Live Video) • 1360 WLBK-AM (DeKalb)
NIU Games Notes | CMU Game Notes | GameTracker
| All-Time Series
||NIU leads 20-19; NIU has won 10 of the last 11 in DeKalb
| Bennett Versus
||Bennett is 1-1 against CMU
DeKALB - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team (10-14, 4-7 Mid-American Conference) returns home and to play against the MAC West Division when they Huskies host Central Michigan (16-7, 8-3), Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the NIU Convocation Center.
• Pace could be the key to Wednesday's game between the Huskies and Chippewas. Central Michigan is among the nation's leaders in scoring, averaging 83.4 points per game, third-best in the nation. NIU, which elects to play at a more methodical pace under first-year head coach Kathi Bennett, scores 58.5 points per game, but allows fewer as well. The Huskies are giving up just 61.9 ppg in MAC play, fourth-best in the league. NIU held CMU to only 67 points in their last meeting.
• Northern Illinois will look to continue its home court advantage over Central Michigan. The Huskies lead the series in DeKalb 13-5, and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in the Barb City.
Can't Miss This
Against the MAC East Division NIU went 3-3, with wins over Buffalo, Ohio and Miami (Ohio). Northern Illinois also lost to MAC East leader Bowling Green by just three points and to Kent State, the second place team in the division, by only two in overtime. Northern Illinois now returns to play against the West Division, where the Huskies will try to reverse a 1-4 record. In cross-divisional play, the West proved to be the stronger division, totaling a 19-13 record against the East.
Key Number: 3
With the Huskies down 49-46 to Buffalo and six seconds left in the game, Marke Freeman pump faked on a 3-pointer to UB's Ashley Zuber off her feet. With Zuber in the air, Freeman drew a foul, earning three free throws. The senior sank all three, sending the game to overtime, where NIU outscored UB 12-4 to take the win.
The Huskies lead the all-time series 20-19, with a 13-5 edge in DeKalb. Prior to last year's loss at home to the Chippewas, NIU had won 10 straight games over CMU in the Barb City. Central Michigan has now won the last three meetings overall, but prior to that NIU beat the Chips in six of seven games.
Ebony Ellis has 915 career points, just 85 off from 1,000. She would need to average 14.1 ppg to reach a grand. If NIU wins a first-round MAC Tournament game, Eillis would need to average just 11.8 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 of a Kind
Marke Freeman is only the third player in NIU history to average at least 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game for her career. The other two are current assistant coach E.C. Hill and Stephanie Raymond. Both Hill and Raymond went on to play professionally both in the WNBA and overseas.
Agaist Buffalo, Ebony Ellis became only the ninth player in NIU history to grab 800 career boards. In her sophomore year alone, Ellis totalled 265 rebounds, eighth most in a season in NIU history. Last season, Ellis missed 10 games due to a foot injury, but still averaged 9.8 rebounds per game, ninth-most in Huskie lore. In 2008, Ellis grabbed 22 rebounds in a game, the fourth-most in NIU history. She also has 915 career points, 27th-most in Huskie lore.
Defense Locking On
NIU has held opponents to 40 percent shooting 11 times this year. The Huskies are 6-5 in those games. NIU has limited its opponents to less than 40 percent shooting in all but three MAC games. League opponents are shooting just 37.7 percent and scoring only 61.9 points per game against the Huskies, both fourth-best in the league.
NIU stands as the most accurate 3-point shooting team in the MAC, and the fifth-best 3-point shooting team in the nation. The Huskies have hit 40.0 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. This year's team is just 0.5 percent behind the 1988-89 team for claim to the title of most accurate 3-point shooting team in Huskie history.