Game One Notes
Nov. 7, 2013
Northern Illinois (0-0) at Green Bay (0-0)
Friday, November 8 | 7 p.m. | Kress Events Center
Radio: NIUHuskies.com/allaccess | Play-by-Play: Andy Garcia
Video: Horizon League TV (Free)
Twitter: @NIUscores | Live Stats: GreenBayPhoenix.com
Northern Illinois leads the all-time series, 13-12
Northern Illinois University
Overall Record 7-23
Home Record 2-9
Neutral Record 2-1
Away Record 3-13
Points/Game For 54.3
Points/Game Allowed 59.3
Field Goal Percentage .396
3-Point Percentage .372
Free Throw Percentage .690
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Overall Record 29-3
Home Record 16-0
Neutral Record 2-1
Away Record 11-2
Points/Game For 67.9
Points/Game Allowed 49.0
Field Goal Percentage .452
3-Point Percentage .354
Free Throw Percentage ..707
RIGHT AT HOME FOR BENNETT
Huskies Head Coach Kathi Bennett will have somewhat of a homecoming on Friday as she will return to her alma mater for the first time at the helm of NIU. The Bennett name is quite familiar to the Phoenix as her father, Dick, was the head men’s basketball coach from 1985-95 while brother, Tony, played there from 1988-92. Kathi graduated from Green Bay in 1986.
RENEWING AN OLD RIVALRY
Northern Illinois and Green Bay have long been foes on the hard court and beyond as the Huskies and the Phoenix were members of the North Star, Mid-Continent and Midwestern Collegiate Conferences from 1988-97. The teams met each other four times in the postseason, with NIU owning a 3-1 advantage over Green Bay. The Huskies were 2-1 against the Phoenix in tournament championship games. This will be the 26th meeting all-time, as Northern Illinois owns a 13-12 lead in the series.
FIRST TIME IN A WHILE
Since parting ways in conference realignment, the Huskies and the Phoenix have only played each other twice. NIU and UWGB last squared off Nov. 28, 2007 at the Kress Events Center, Green Bay’s first women’s basketball game in the new facility, with the Phoenix taking the contest, 76-54. The teams have only met twice in non-conference play, with Green Bay holding a 2-0 advantage.
MORE HUSKIE AND PHOENIX TIES
Former Northern Illinois University women’s basketball coach Carol Hammerle (1998-2005) was a longtime head coach at Green Bay, serving 25 seasons there from 1973-1998.
SCOUTING THE PHOENIX
Green Bay finished 2012-13 with a remarkable 29-3 overall and a perfect 16-0 record in the Horizon League en route to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season under Head Coach Kevin Borseth, now in his second season. The Phoenix have traditionally been one of the top women’s basketball programs in the Midwest, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2011 where they lost to Baylor, 86-76. Green Bay lost to LSU last season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
In CollegeInsider.com’s Preseason Top-25 Mid-Major poll, UWGB is ranked No. 4 in the country and earned 12 first place votes in the poll. No. 1 Gonzaga earned 15 first place votes.
Green Bay lost four players who started all 32 contests in 2012-13, but return redshirt junior Megan Lukan, who averaged 7.1 points and 4.4 assists per game from the point. Redshirt senior Breannah Ranger, who appeared in all 32 games off the bench, will step into a major role this season for the Phoenix after averaging 7.3 points to lead the bench, while averaging 17.9 minutes per game. Ranger is Green Bay’s top-returning scorer heading into 2013-14.
COACH FLEMING ON GREEN BAY...
“With the history in their program, Green Bay is going to come out and play hard. We’re going to have a battle on our hands. They’re going to raise their banner from their NCAA Tournament appearance last year, so I know they are going to be ready for the game. It’s going to be close to a sellout so it’s going to be nice atmosphere up there as well. They have one returning starter this season (Megan Lukan), and another girl, (Breannah) Ranger, who played a lot of minutes for them last season so they’ll have a lot of girls who are planning on stepping up and making a name for themselves so they’ll come out playing hard.”
Assistant Coach Latrell Fleming is in his first season on staff at Northern Illinois after spending the 2012-13 season at Milwaukee. Fleming was signed and recruited by Kathi Bennett’s father, Dick, in his time at Wisconsin.
SHARING THE WEALTH
The Huskies had no problem scoring in their exhibition versus Lewis Nov. 2 as five different players scored in the double-digits in the 76-72 victory over the Flyers. Junior Amanda Corral paced NIU with 15 points, trailed closely by sophomore Alexis Lindstrom’s 14. Junior Natecia Augusta earned 13 points in the post while classmate Danny Pulliam and freshman Ally Lehman each dropped 10. NIU had four players reach double-digit scoring last season in the Huskies 73-52 win at Ohio Feb. 6.
A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
Head Coach Kathi Bennett stated numerous times during the preseason to various media outlets that “this season’s schedule is the toughest we’ve played since I’ve been here.” Take into the consideration the strength of the Mid-American Conference this season and the proof is in the pudding. Five of the Huskies opponents, including three from the MAC, are ranked in CollegeInsider.com’s Preseason Mid-Major Top-25 poll. Green Bay enters the season No. 4 with 12 first place votes, while South Dakota State is No. 8. Mid-American Conferences foes Toledo and Central Michigan are ranked Nos. 5 and 9, respectively, and Bowling Green rounds out the poll at No. 25.
HUSKIES ON THE DEFENSIVE
Despite their 7-23 record, the Huskies and their famed “pack defense” were fourth in the MAC last season in scoring defense as NIU allowed 59.5 points per game.
BACK IN HER COMFORT ZONE
After spending time the last two seasons at point guard, junior Amanda Corral is back at her natural position of shooting guard. Injuries at various points over the last two seasons forced Corral to run the point. Despite being out of position, she averaged 12.7 points per game and 2.1 assists per game in 2012-13.
AN ALL AROUND PLAYER
Amanda Corral led the Huskies in points, rebounds and assists per game last season, only one-of-two players in the Mid-American Conference last season to do so and is the only returning player in the MAC to accomplish that feat in 2013-14. She averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 helpers per game. Kent State’s Tamzin Barroilhet also led her team in the aforementioned categories last season.
CORRAL’S SECOND HALF STUFF
Junior Amanda Corral had a solid afternoon versus Lewis University Nov. 2, leading the Huskies with 15 total points. While she scored four points in the first half, Corral added 11 in the second stanza with four free throws, two field goals and one from behind the arc. She was a perfect six-for-six at the free throw line.
PULLIAM BACK IN THE LINEUP
After missing most of the last two seasons, redshirt junior Danny Pulliam returns this season to the point guard position to run the Huskies offense. She started and appeared in five games as a sophomore before tearing her meniscus and undergoing microfracture surgery. In 2012-13, she played in seven contests before suffering setbacks in her rehab. In those seven games played last year, she accounted for nearly 20 percent of NIU’s assists while she was on the court.
A TRANSFORMATION IN THE POST
Junior Natecia Augusta made big strides last season in her game, improving her scoring from 3.9 points as a freshman to 6.2 points as a sophomore. After a busy summer in the weight room to improve her strength and fitness, Augusta will be looked upon to take bigger role in the post in 2013-14.
HOT AUGUSTA NIGHTS
Last season, Natecia Augusta led the Huskies in field goal percentage with a clip of .528 on 127 total shots. Not only strong from the field, the then-sophomore also produced at the free throw line with a .789 mark. She twice went eighth-for-eight at the charity stripe last season, and also produced eight flawless games from the line. She scored six times in the post versus Lewis in exhibition play, closing the day with 13 points.
LINDSTROM FROM DOWNTOWN
Sophomore Alexis Lindstrom found success for the Huskies last season as a three-point shooter, going 31-for-73 (.425) from behind the arc. Her field goal percentage in three point range was tops in the MAC last season, .080 ahead of Central Michigan’s Kerby Tamm.
Last Saurday against Lewis at the Convocation Center, Alexis Lindstrom hit four three-pointers in the first half to lead Northern Illinois in the half with 12 points. She would close her afternoon with 14 points.
Over the summer, the Huskies added two new assistant coaches in Debbie Whitman and Latrell Fleming. Whitman, a member of the Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame, was promoted to assistant status after spending last season as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations. Fleming came to NIU after spending a year at UW-Milwaukee. Also new in 2013-14 is Graduate Assistant Anya Covington, who played four seasons at Wisconsin, her last two as team captain, before playing a year in Germany for the Rhein Main Baskets.
THE PACK WITH A TWIST
Most college basketball fans know of the pack defense, made famous by Dick Bennett and the rest of his family coaching tree, including NIU Head Coach Kathi Bennett. This season, Kathi added a twist to the family’s bread and butter, adding more pressure to opposing offenses to create turnovers and allow the team to play more of a transition type of offense. Northern Illinois scored 76 points in their lone exhibition of the season.
FRESHMEN JUMPING RIGHT IN
Thanks in part to the NCAA’s new rule, allowing newcomers to work out with the team in the summer, the Huskies welcomed four freshmen to campus. Three of those freshmen, Amber Gray, Jazmine Harris and Ally Lehman, got their first taste of collegiate basketball last Saturday versus Lewis. Lehman scored 10 points in the first half of the game on four field goals and two free throws. Harris added three points to the Huskies tally of 76 points.
MEET Alex Dumoulin
Junior transfer Alex Dumoulin is used to being a member of a team as she is one of 10 children in her family, six girls and four boys. Dumoulin grew up playing basketball with her siblings and other children that worked on the family farm in Hampshire, Ill. The forward was an all-american at Elgin Community College and grew up playing on the same team with her older sister, Cassie, who also played basketball at Elgin and was an all-american. She went on to play at Illinois.
THORP - A JACK OF ALL TRADES
Over the last three seasons in the Northern Illinois program, redshirt junior Jenna Thorp has developed into a do it all forward for the Huskies. After averaging 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 2011-12, Thorp improved her numbers last season to 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The Hinckley native doubled her assist output as well, increasing from 22 helpers to 53. She also became a threat behind the three point line, shooting 15-for-44 (.341) in 2012-13, compared to 2-for-6 (.333) as a freshman.
FOLLOW THE HUSKIES ALL SEASON LONG
Northern Illinois women’s basketball can be followed in a myriad of ways throughout the season. Audio of all of NIU’s games will be available for fans to listen to live and on on-demand (subscription required). Play-by-play man Andy Garcia, now in his third year, will be on the call for all of NIU’s games this season. Fans can also follow the team on Facebook and Twitter. Like “NIU Huskies” on Facebook and follow @GoHuskiesWBB and @NIUathletics on Twitter. Gameday updates and scores from all women’s basketball games can be followed on Twitter @NIUscores.
FREE PARKING FOR ALL HOME BASKETBALL GAMES
The NIU Convocation Center will offer free parking for all basketball home games this season. Fans are asked to park in the C-2 and C-3 parking lots. For more details on changes to gameday and to view a detailed parking map of the area, visit NIUHuskies.com.
NIU VOTED SIXTH IN MAC POLL
Prior to the Mid-American Conference’s Preseason Teleconference, the conference office released the preseason coaches poll. Northern Illinois was picked to finish sixth in the MAC West Division. See the complete poll results below.
MAC West Preseason Poll
1. Central Michigan (12 First Place Votes)
2. Ball State
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Western Michigan
6. Northern Illinois
MAC East Preseason Poll
1. Akron (9 First Place Votes)
2. Bowling Green (3)
6. Kent State
2014 Predicted Tournament Champion
Central Michigan (9 Votes)
Bowling Green (1)
The Huskies will return to DeKalb for their home-opener against Mississippi Valley State Tuesday, Nov. 12. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. It will be the first time in program history NIU has played a team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.