Huskies Face Road Meeting with Illinois State Saturday



Nov. 25, 2011

Northern Illinois Huskies (2-2, 0-0 MAC) at Illinois State Redbirds (1-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley)

NIU-ISU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Tipoff: 4:00 PM CT
Location: Redbird Arena | Normal, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM DeKalb - Andy Garcia on the call
Live Stats: GameTracker via

The Match-Up
Northern Illinois plays its second road game of the year with its 33rd all-time meeting with Illinois State.

A Look at Illinois State
The Redbirds finished last season with a 24-11 mark, 12-6 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Returning just one starter and eight letterwinners, Illinois State is off to a 1-2 start. The Redbirds opened the year with a 63-52 win at Ball State and have since dropped games road games to Northwestern (69-62) and Eastern Illinois (83-69).

Last Time Versus Illinois State
The two teams last met in DeKalb on Jan. 3, 2011, and the Redbirds came out on top 73-51. In that contest, ISU shot 48.1 percent form the field, holding NIU to 33.3 percent. ISU also held a 37-28 rebounding edge and had 23 points off turnovers to NIU's 16. Marke Freeman led the Huskies with 16 points. Katie Broadway led the Redbirds with 18 points.

A Little Bit of Rebounding
While it's certainly a small sample size, freshman guard Amanda Corral is currently averaging more rebounds per game (6.0) than her height (5'6"). In her last two games, the diminutive rookie has pulled down 17 rebounds. Her rebounding average ranks second on the team, despite being tied for the shortest on the team.

In her sophomore season, Alicia Johnson is blossoming. Through just four games, she has already set two new career highs in points. First she scored four against Western Illinois. Then she netted 11 versus Bradley. Her career high entering the season was three points.

Getting Defensive
Since allowing Loyola to shoot above 50 percent in the first game, the Huskies have held Western Illinois, Temple, and Bradley to under 40 percent shooting to win two of the three games. Since coming to NIU, Bennett is 10-8 when holding opponents to less than 40 percent shooting.

Productive Bench
An indication of a deep team, the Huskie bench has been outstanding through the early part of this season. NIU owns a 96-35 edge in points off the bench over its opponents.

Double-Double on the Marke
Amanda Corral's 16-point, 10-rebound double-double against Temple was the first by an NIU guard since last year's leading scorer Marke Freeman poured in 23 points and 17 boards in a 56-48 win at Ohio on Jan. 1, 2011.

Corraling MAC West Player of the Week
In just her first seven days of collegiate action, freshman Amanda Corral has already caught the MAC's attention, garnering MAC West Player of the Week on Monday. Corral led NIU to a 2-0 record by averaging 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.

Percent of Production Returning
The Huskies return seven players from last year, including three starters in Kim Davis, Danny Pulliam, and Courtney Shelton, and welcome seven newcomers. In terms of production, NIU returns 64 percent of its minutes, 49 percent of its points, 45 percent of its rebounds, 71 percent of its assists, 44 percent of its blocks, and 53 percent of its steals.

Bennett's Year 2 Success
In Year 2 of each of her three prior head coaching stops throughout her career, Bennett has posted a combined win-loss total of 44-38. Her Year 2 win total has been an increase from Year 1 in two of the three stops. Indiana was the only place she did not have an increase, as she led the Hoosiers to 17 wins after totaling 20 in her first season in Bloomington.

Familiar Foes
Throughout her career, Bennett has faced all 23 of NIU's 2011-12 opponents and holds a 45-39 record against them.

NIU Picked to Finish 4th in MAC West
The Mid-American Conference coaches and select media chose the Huskies to finish fourth in the West Division this year in the MAC Preseason Poll.

Huskies Ink Three on Signing Day
On signing day on Nov. 9, NIU received National Letters of Intent from forward McKenzie Hoelmenn (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North), guard Alexis Lindstrom (Howards Grove, Wis./Howards Grove), and forward Nichole Wittman (Hutchinson, Minn./Hutchinson), Hoelmenn is Max Preps' No. 3 player from Minnesota and No. 87 player in the nation. Max Preps ranks Wittman and Lindstrom No. 41 and No. 133 in their respective states.

Graduating Huskies
For the fourth straight year, NIU's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) topped the 80 percent mark. With an 82 percent GSR, the Huskies sit two points above the four-class national average. The women's basketball team is one of four NIU programs to post a perfect 100 percent GSR as every freshman and transfer student-athlete who entered NIU between 2001-04 graduated.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, NIU's 1 PM CT contest at Eastern Michigan will be televised by the Mid-American Conference's regional cable partner SportsTime Ohio. The game will be NIU's only scheduled regular season TV appearance.

On the Air
Every NIU basketball game of the 2011-12 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.

Up Next for NIU
The Huskies return home to face Southern Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 PM CT.




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