Huskies to Meet Salukis in Carbondale



Nov. 18, 2010

Northern Illinois (2-1, 0-0 MAC) at Southern Illinois (0-2, 0-0 MVC)
 Date Friday, Nov. 19  •  7 p.m. CDT
 Location Carbondale, Ill. • SIU Arena
 On the Air
Huskie All-Access (Live Audio) • 1360 WLBK-AM (DeKalb) NIU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | SIU Game Notes | Live Stats
 All-Time Series NIU leads 12-11 - NIU has won three of last four in Carbondale
 Bennett Versus Bennett is 6-3 versus Southern Illinois and has won the last five meetings


DeKALB - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team looks for its third straight victory when the Huskies take on in-state rival Southern Illinois, Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Carbondale.

The Series

Northern Illinois holds a precarious 12-11 lead in the all-time series with the Salukis. The Huskies have won the last three by an average of 13 points. Southern Illinois holds a 7-4 advantage at home, but has protected home court only once in the last four meetings in Carbondale, dating back to 1990.

About the Salukis

Southern Illinois enters Friday's game at 0-2 with losses to Tennessee State, 57-42, and to Tennessee Martin, 62-50. In both games, the Saluki offense struggled mightily, especially in the first half. SIU shot just 12.9 percent (4-of-31) from the field in the first half against TSU, scoring only 17 points. Versus UTM, the Salukis managed just 15 first half points

Last Time Out - NIU 73, WIU 65

Senior Marke Freeman scored a season-high 26 points as the Northern Illinois women's basketball team held off a late charge by Western Illinois to win its second straight game, 73-65, Tuesday.

The Huskies, who improved to 2-1 on the season, led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but the Leathernecks (0-2) knocked down five second-half three-pointers to stay within touching distance down the stretch. The Leathernecks got as close as three with 1:51 remaining. Ebony Ellis hit a lay-up on the Huskies' next trip down the floor, and Marke Freeman knocked down two free throws 36 seconds later to give NIU a 67-60 lead with 57 seconds left.

Including Freeman's two makes, the Huskies went 8-for-8 from the free throw stripe in the last minute of the game to seal their second straight win.

The game was hard-fought, though not well-played. The teams combined for 42 turnovers, with Northern Illinois committing 14 in the first half alone.

"It was an ugly game, there's no doubt about it," NIU head coach Kathi Bennett said. "We played extremely hard, we didn't play extremely smart. We found a way to win and that is what is important."

Ellis finished the night with 16 points and 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. Her effort helped NIU outscore the Leathernecks 36-22 in the paint, and score nine second chance points.

Sophomore Kim Davis also helped the Huskies inside, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting and adding four rebounds.

The Huskies overcame the bundle of first half turnovers to lead 33-29 at the break, in part thanks to 13-of-25 shooting (52 percent).

The Huskies took better care of the ball in the second, committing only eight turnovers.

Last Meeting with SIU

Mauvolyene Adams had a career high 22 points with 10 rebounds, Ebony Ellis scored 12 points with nine caroms, and Marke Freeman added 17 points and six boards as the Huskies ousted Southern Illinois, 74-65 at the Convocation Center. NIU held the Salukies to 37.5 percent shooting from the field, and the Huskies made 35-of-44 free throw attempts in a game that saw Northern Illinois improve to 3-1 on the season. Teri Oliver led the Saluki scoring effort with 20 points, while Stephany Neptune added a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards.

Bennett Against SIU

Kathi Bennett holds a 6-3 record against the Salukies, with all games coming when she was the head coach of Evansville and SIU was a league rival in the Missouri Valley Conference. Bennett went 1-3 versus SIU before winning the final five match-ups, including three in her last season as the head coach of the Purple Aces.

On the Air

Every NIU basketball game of the 2010-11 season can be heard on the Northern Illinois Sports Network, Presented by IMG. Women's games home and away can be heard on 1360-AM WLBK and Huskie All-Access at Home games can also be watched live through Huskie All-Access.


Bennett Already Approaching Record

If the Huskies defeat Southern Illinois, head coach Kathi Bennett will match the best start by a first-year head coach in NIU women's basketball history. Northern Illinous would improve to 3-1 with a victory, matching the marks set by Liz Galloway-McQuitter and Jane Albright in their opening seasons.

No Threes Necessary

Northern Illinois defeated Western Illinois, 73-65, without hitting a three-pointer. The Huskies only took three shots from behind-the-arc, two by Marke Freeman and one from Brittney Callahan. It was the first time since Dec. 18, 2003 NIU won without a made three. That day, NIU beat St. Louis, 67-61.

Shooting Stats

• NIU went 26-for-50 from the field against the Leathernecks, going 13-of-25 in both the first half and the second half.

• The Huskies have increased their shooting percentage in each of the first three games this year: 36.8 (Minnesota), 43.4 (George Washington), 52.0 (Western Illinois).

• The 52 percent shooting night against WIU was the Huskies' best field goal percentage in a game since NIU shot 59.6 percent (34-of-57) against Saint Joseph's in 2007.

Rock `n' Road

The Huskies are 2-1 to start the season with every game coming away from the Convocation Center. The away record is the best road start since 2006-07, when the Huskies opened 3-1 in away/neutral games. That year, NIU finished 9-9 on the road and 19-12 overall.

Honors For Freeman

Senior Marke Freeman earned a place on the 2010 Best Buy Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 16 points, 2.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. Freeman scored 25 in NIU's win over George Washington, including hitting 4-of-6 three-pointers.

Freeman was also named to the Preseason All-MAC West Team. Freeman was a MAC All-Conference Second Team performer in 2009-10, an award that includes players from both divisions. She led the Huskies in scoring with 16.8 points per game, scored at least 20 points on 10 separate occasions, and surpassed the 30-point mark three times. She also ranked second in the league in steals with 2.7 per contest.

Slow Start, Strong Finish

The Huskies got off to a slow shooting start against George Washington, hitting just 5-of-20 shots to open the game. NIU found its groove, finishing 18-of-33 (54.5 percent) to close the game with a 43.4 percent shooting mark. 

The Huskies also picked things up in the second half defensively, stifling George Washington to a 28.6 percent (10-35) second half performance from the field. NIU held George Washington without a field goal from 9:16-4:19 in the second half.





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