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November 24, 2003


CLEVELAND, OH---When Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst announced the league's first West Division Player of the Week honor of the season Monday (Nov. 24), it shouldn't have come as a surprise to hear a Northern Illinois University player's name. But which Huskie garnered the award? That's another story.

Senior forward Lindsay Secrest (Bloomfield, IN) took the spotlight for the first time in her career. The Bloomfield, IN, native scored 16 points in each of NIU's two games last week, leading the Huskies to a pair of victories to open the regular season. She tallied 14 of her points in the second half versus the University of Wisconsin on Sunday (Nov. 23), hitting all four of her three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes of a 68-65 victory. She was five-of-nine from the field and added two free throws plus a blocked shot against the Big Ten Conference representative to give Northern Illinois its first win in Madison since 1974.

Secrest opened the season with a six-of-11 shooting performance including a pair of three-pointers with three assists against Loyola-Chicago last Friday (Nov. 21). The 5-11 forward currently leads the Huskies with her 16.0 points-per-game pace and lifted her career total to 141 three-point field goals---second in school history. She also now needs 165 points to become the 21st player to reach 1,000 in a Northern Illinois uniform.

"Lindsay is well deserving of this honor, because she has been the most consistent perimeter player on our squad this season," NIU coach Carol Hammerle explained. "She has worked so hard and this is a tremendous honor for her. I'm very proud and excited for her."

The award is the first for the Huskie program since Jennifer Youngblood (Rock Island) received the honor on Feb. 26, 2002, and comes in a week when sophomore center Joi Scott (Reynoldsburg, OH) and senior guard Monique Davis (Columbus, OH / Marion-Franklin) each recorded personal-best scoring performances. Scott tallied 24 points in the victory over Loyola-Chicago while Davis' 20 points at Wisconsin paced Northern Illinois to that triumph. But Secrest's consistency drew the acclaim from the conference office.

Kent State University center Andrea Csaszar earned East Division honors. The 6-6 junior registered 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots to lift the Golden Flashes past Rice University 61-55 in their season-opener on Friday. The contest was Csaszar's first in 18 months after missing all of the 2002-03 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to garner Second-Team All-MAC notice two years ago.

Secrest and her teammates return to action Saturday (Nov. 29) when Western Illinois University visits the Convocation Center for a 2:05 p.m. matinee. A victory would give NIU its first 3-0 start in 13 seasons.

-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester



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