Nov. 28, 2011
Northern Illinois Huskies (2-3, 0-0 MAC) at Southern Illinois Salukis (2-2, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
NIU Game Notes
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Tipoff: 7:00 PM CT
Location: NIU Convocation Center | DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM DeKalb - Andy Garcia and Ethel Gregory on the call
Live Stats: GameTracker via NIUHuskies.com
Northern Illinois plays its fourth home game of the year with its 25th all-time meeting with Southern Illinois.
A Look at Southern Illinois
The Salukis finished last season with a 2-28 mark, 0-18 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Returning four starters and seven letterwinners, Southern Illinois is off to a 2-2 start, already matching their win total from a year ago just four games into the season. The Salukis opened the year with two straight losses to Austin Peay (76-70) and Loyola (66-44) but have bounced back to win two in a row over Chicago State (76-54) and Tennessee State (89-68).
Last Time Versus Southern Illinois
The two teams last met in Carbondale on Nov. 19, 2010, and the Huskies came out on top 46-45 thanks to a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Courtney Shelton. In that contest, Shelton led NIU with 21 points, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, including a 5-for-5 performance from downtown. Teri Oliver led the Salukis with 11 points.
Taking Their Turn
Through five games, NIU has had four different leading scorers, with Ashley Sneed being the only one to repeat. Sneed got the season started with a team-high 12 points at Loyola. Jenna Thorp scored 18 versus Western Illinois. Amanda Corral led NIU with 16 versus Temple. Alicia Johnson tallied 11 against Bradley. Then Sneed turned in 14 at Illinois State.
In her sophomore year, Ashley Sneed is developing quickly. She has already posted two double-figure scoring performances and both times led NIU in scoring. First, she dropped 12 in the opener at Loyola. Last Saturday, she netted 14 at Illinois State. Both performances gave her a new career high in scoring.
Like her classmate, Alicia Johnson is blossoming in her second year as well. 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.
An indication of a deep team, the Huskie bench has been outstanding through the early part of this season. NIU owns a 133-46 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 Nov. 21st. 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.
Throughout her career, Bennett has faced all 23 of NIU's 2011-12 opponents and holds a 45-40 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.
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.
NIU on TV
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 NIUHuskies.com. Home games can also be watched live through Huskie All-Access.
Up Next for NIU
The Huskies have a 12-day layoff until they hit the road to face Chicago State on Dec. 11 at 2 PM CT.