|DeKALB - The Northern Illinois women’s basketball team plays a top-25 team for the second time this year, as the Huskies square off against the undefeated and 24th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers, Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.
Northern Illinois leads the all-time series between the schools 2-1. The Huskies won in Lincoln during the 1989-90 season, 93-69, and beat the Huskers the next year in DeKalb, 87-84. Nebraska won the most recent match-up, a 95-57 decision in 1997.
Northern Illinois is under fifth-year head coach Carol Owens, who has compiled a 59-67 record guiding the Huskies. Owens played for NIU from 1985-90, leading the Huskies to their first NCAA bid in 1989-90. Owens has also coached with Team USA, winning a total of four gold medals, including two as the head coach of the U18/U19 squad.
Nebraska is led by Connie Yori. Currently in her eighth season in Lincoln, Yori has accumulated a 130-97 record, and guided the Cornhuskers to the postseason in each of the last six seasons. Prior to arriving at Nebraska, Yori spent 10 years as the head coach of Creighton.
LAST TIME AGAINST NEBRASKA
Northern Illinois never led, but trailed by only seven against the Cornhuskers at halftime. Nebraska pulled away in the second half to take a 95-57 victory. The Huskies mustered just 23 percent shooting in the second half, while the Cornhuskers hit 58 percent of their second period tries.
Three Huskies scored in double figures, including top-scorer Amanda Reese with 14. Shawjuan Dorsey added 13, and Kelly Sue Miller scored 13 off the bench in the loss.
ON THE CORNHUSKERS
Nebraska has tied its best start in school history by winning its first nine games. The Cornhuskers are ranked 24th in the nation, and are defeating opponents by 25.7 points per game.
Senior Kelsey Griffin is the heart of the Cornhuskers, leading the team in scoring (17.6 ppg), rebounding (9.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.622). She is one of four Nebraska players averaging in double-figures scoring.
Nebraska is 5-0 this season at the Devaney Center, with wins over Davidson (86-62), Idaho State (88-41), Washington State (107-54), South Dakota (77-38), and most recently, Creighton (69-56).
ON THE AIR
Every NIU basketball game of the 2009-10 season can be head on the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Radio Network. Women’s games can be heard on 1360-AM WLBK and Huskie All-Access at www.niuhuskies.com.
CAN'T MISS THIS
Northern Illinois will look for its second straight road win over a member of the Big 12. The Huskies defeated Kansas, Dec. 29, 2006, 82-74 during Carol Owen’s second season. Stephanie Raymond scored a career-high 30 points and Kristin Wiener and Mary Basic added 17 and 14 respectively. Current Huskie senior Kylie York scored six points that day.
The Huskies face Nebraska in game two of a three-game road swing. The trip is the longest in both number or game and total days of the season. Though the Huskies will be away from the Convocation Center for 26 days, it’s not even the longest away stretch in the Carol Owens era. In each of Owens’ first three years, the Huskies went over a month between home games.
NIU AGAINST THE BIG 12
Northern Illinois holds a 4-11 all-time record against schools in the current Big 12. That includes a 2-1 record against Nebraska, and 1-0 marks against Kansas and Texas Tech. Carol Owens is 1-0 as a head coach against the conference, counting only Northern Illinois’ 82-74 win at Kansas in 2006. As a player at NIU, Owens went 2-2 against the Big 12. That record includes a win over Nebraska and an NCAA Tournament victory against Texas Tech.
UNO, DOS, TREYS
Kylie York, the lone senior for the Huskies, is poised to become the top three-point shooter in school history. York has totaled 219 career treys, just five short of school record holder Denise Dove, who hit 221 from 1987-91. York holds the second and third slot for threes in a season. She hit 77 at a sophomore, knocked down 76 last season, and ranks fifth in the MAC with 18 makes this year.
The frontcourt duo of Mauvolyene Adams and Ebony Ellis is the best rebounding pair in the MAC. Ellis ranks third in the league at 10.7 per game, and Adams sits in sixth at 8.9 per contest. Together, their 19.3 rebounds per game is over a rebound per game more than the next closest duos in the MAC. Ball State’s Emily Maggert and Danielle Gratton average 17.9 and Buffalo’s Kourtney Brown and Brigdette Kendricks combine for 18.6.
MORE ON THE BOARDS
Northern Illinois ranks third in the MAC in rebounding, averaging 40.7 per game, behind only Eastern Michigan at 44.1 and Ball State with 40.9.
Not including the two freshmen, six Huskies have registered career-highs for points this season. Marke Freeman scored 27 points against Northern Iowa, the third time this season she set a personal scoring high. Other Huskies with career-highs include Ebony Ellis (22, vs. Bradley), Mauvolyene Adams (22, vs. SIU), Sarah Rogers (8, at Milwaukee), and Tenisha Wilson (10, at Milwaukee), and Courtney Shelton (9, at IUPUI).
Junior forward Mauvolyene Adams tallied the first double-double of her career with an 18-point, 11-rebound effort against Bradley. She kept it up with double-doubles in each of the first four games this season. Adams ranks second on the team with 13.9 points per game and second in rebounding, averaging 8.8. Her four-straight double-dips feat surpasses the three-straight double-doubles achieved by Ebony Ellis last season. She added a fifth double-double with a 12-point, 10-board performance against Northern Iowa,
Northern Illinois is the best team in the Mid-American Conference at defending the three-pointer. Huskie opponents have hit just 25.5 percent (28-of-110) of their downtown tries this season. The next best MAC squad is Ohio, which is allowing 29.5 percent shooting.