Nov. 1, 2013
VIDEO: Preseason Basketball Media Day Press Conference
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University Women’s Basketball team will take on Division II Lewis, Saturday, November 2 at 1 p.m., in its only preseason match of the year.
Head Coach Kathi Bennett begins her fourth season with the Huskies and is looking to send NIU back to the Quickens Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio for the Mid-American Conference Tournament. There to assist her are, juniors, Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) and Jenna Thorp (Hinckley, Ill./Hinckley-Big Rock), who both started 29 games last season for NIU. Also, returning are seven letter women who will assist in mentoring NIU’s seven newcomers this season. Redshirt junior Danny Pulliam (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) returns as well after missing most of the last two seasons with knee injuries.
"The good thing about the Lewis game is that it's still an exhibition," said Assistant Coach Kevin McManaman, "based on last week's scrimmage and where we're at now, we're still just trying to see how our execution is on both ends of the floor.
"For us, first and foremost is we want to play defense, we want to see how we can match up and stop them. On the offensive end, we want to make sure we're in our spots and executing the specific plays that we have and run through them," added McManaman.
Corral, one of two players in the Mid-American Conference to lead her team in scoring, led the Huskies last season averaging 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.
“Amanda is a phenomenal athlete and she's made herself a phenomenal basketball player,” said Bennett. “This year, I'm really excited because we can put her in a position to succeed.”
Lewis, ranked No. 18 in USA Today's Division II Preseason Top-25 Coaches Poll, returns three of their five starters from last season, including junior Jess Reinhart who averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Under Head Coach Lisa Carlson, the Flyers were able to go 24-6 in the 2012-2013 season, and obtain the Great Lakes Valley Conference title.
The Flyers played their first-of-three exhibition contests Wednesday, October 30 versus NAIA Roosevelt, defeating the Lakers, 93-81.
"We're excited to play this strong Division II school. They're preseason ranked, they're favorites in their conference, they have a preseason all-america nominee," said McManaman. "All of those things are good to play against in the preseason."
The Huskies open up their regular season on the road at Green Bay, Friday, November 8 at 7 p.m. Following that the Huskies will take on Mississippi Valley State in their regular season home opener Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. NIU was selected to finish sixth in the MAC West in the coaches preseason poll.
NIU women’s basketball season tickets are just $50, or $40 for NIU football season ticket holders, faculty/staff or seniors. Season tickets for Huskie women’s basketball are a 45 percent discount over single game prices and guarantee fans the same seat for all 14 Huskie women’s home games this season as well as a ticket for a MAC Tournament game, either at home in DeKalb or in Cleveland. Courtside season tickets are also available for $100.
Also available again this season is the NIU Pack, featuring 10 general admission vouchers redeemable for any NIU men’s or women’s basketball game for just $30. Huskie basketball group tickets are available for groups of 20-or-more. Groups of 20-49 can purchase tickets for $3 while groups of 50-or-more can purchase tickets for any Huskie men’s or women’s basketball game for $2.
NIU students are admitted FREE to all regular season home men's and women's basketball games with a valid student OneCard.
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