Dec. 17, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its 27th meeting against Eastern Illinois at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at the Convocation Center. The teams last met on Dec. 29, 2012 in Charleston and the Panthers won 72-62 with the benefit of a 33-13 edge in free throws made.
NIU-EIU Game Notes
The Last Meeting
December 29, 2011
Huskies Fall at Eastern Illinois, 72-62
The Northern Illinois women's basketball team's third bid for a three-game winning streak came up short against Eastern Illinois, 72-62, on Thursday night at Lantz Arena. The setback came due large in part to the Panthers' opportunistic defense and sound offensive rebounding.
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 19
Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: DeKalb, IL
Arena: Convocation Center
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: NIU leads 15-11
2012-13 Record: 3-5
Home/Away/Neutral: 1-1 | 1-4 | 1-0
Last Game: L, 68-46 at DePaul
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 326-216 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 30-39 (3rd year)
Record vs. EIU: 2-2
2012-13 Record: 5-4
Home/Away/Neutral: 4-1 | 0-3 | 1-0
Last Game: L, 76-47 at Wisconsin
Head Coach: Lee Buchanan
Career Record: 358-208 (20th year)
Record at EIU: 5-4 (1st year)
Record vs. NIU: First meeting
--The Huskies will be looking to take advantage of their solid play at home in the last game before embarking upon a season long five-game road trip. Featuring five games in four states from Dec. 22 - Jan. 10, NIU will travel over 3,100 miles on the trip. NIU is 15-14 at home under Bennett and 15-25 elsewhere.
-- Both teams come in on different trends: NIU has lost four of its last five and EIU has won three of last its last four. All three wins for EIU were at home and two were in overtime. The lone loss was at Wisconsin as the Panthers have struggled on the road with a winless 0-3 mark this season.
-- EIU is in the middle of a tough seven-game road trip. The Panthers lost at Wisconsin Saturday, play at Western Illinois Monday and then face NIU Wednesday before resuming the excursion 10 days later at Tennessee State.
-- NIU leads the all-time series over EIU 15-11 and is 6-3 in DeKalb. The Huskies have won five of the last six meetings with the lone loss coming last season on Dec. 29 in Charleston, 72-62.
Scouting Eastern Illinois
The Panthers are off to a 5-4 start in their first season under head coach Lee Buchanan, who was an assistant coach for the last five years at EIU. Buchanan helped EIU to 106 wins as an assistant, which are the most in any five year span in program history. The Panthers made their third straight post season appearance in 2011-12 by playing in the WNIT. EIU is coming off a 76-47 loss at Wisconsin on Saturday, but had won three straight home games prior to that. The Panthers are scoring 64.8 points per game and giving up 71.1. EIU is shooting 36.5 percent from the field and allowing a 44.0 percent clip to foes.
Familiar Foe for Familiar Face
Second-year NIU assistant coach Shannon Baugh will coach against her alma mater for the second time since wrapping up her playing career at Eastern Illinois. As a two-year letterwinner for the Panthers, Baugh was a team captain during the 1993-94 season as she led the Panthers in scoring (15.1 PPG) and rebounds (6.9 RPG). Her 129 free throws made that season were a school record for 12 years and still stands as the eighth most in EIU single season history.
After missing all but six minutes of the South Dakota State game and the whole Bradley game due to a left ankle sprain, Amanda Corral returned as good as ever versus Loyola, Indiana State and DePaul. She scored a season-high 19 points in each of the first two games and then added 15 versus DePaul. The 53 points in her last three games are the most she's scored in three straight games in her young career and has raised her scoring average per game to a career high mark of 13.0, which ranks eighth in the MAC.
Corral Named MAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week
On Dec. 6, the league office announced Amanda Corral as the Mid-American Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week. It's the first time Corral has earned the honor as she boasts a 4.0 GPA in health sciences. In NIU's win over Loyola, she scored 19 points with four rebounds and an assist and block to earn the honor.
First Win at Home Avenges Last Year's Season Opener Loss
NIU earned its first home win of the season in its second try with a 67-63 decision over Loyola Nov. 30. The victory avenged last year's season opening 73-42 loss at Loyola on Nov. 13, 2011. The 31-point setback was the second largest defeat NIU has suffered in the series versus the Ramblers and largest since 1985's 87-49 loss in Chicago.
60 is the Magic Number
This season, NIU is 3-0 when scoring 60 or more points, and consequently, 0-5 when scoring under 60. For the season, the Huskies average 57.6 points per game. Under Bennett, NIU is 19-10 over the last three years when scoring 60 or more points in a game.
Leading at the Half is Crucial
The common thread to all three wins has been holding a halftime lead as the Huskies are 3-0 when leading at the half, and all have been double digit edges. NIU held a 10-point lead against Loyola, 15-point lead at Morehead State and 13-point lead versus Davidson.
Tay and the Trey
NIU ranks second in the MAC in 3-point percentage (34.5, 53rd in the NCAA) and third in field goal percentage (42.3, 60th in the NCAA). A large reason for the three-point percentage is Satavia Taylor, who leads the MAC and ranks 11th in the NCAA with a 48.3 percentage. Her 6-for-6 game against Morehead State set the NIU record for accuracy behind the arc in a game.
Huskies have 2-1 Showing in Preseason WNIT
In their second-ever Preseason WNIT appearance, the Huskies fell at Iowa in the first round but rebounded strong in the consolation rounds. NIU beat Davidson 64-61 and then cruised past Morehead State 76-46 for a 2-1 record to start the season -- the third 2-1 start for Bennett in three years as NIU head coach.
Huskies Playing 20th Season in NCAA Division I
Overall, the Huskies are 429-452 (.488) in 20 seasons of Division I play. NIU has been to the NCAA Tournament five times (1989-90, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95).
Percent of Production Returning
Overall, the 2012-13 Huskies will return over 60 percent of their points and rebounds, which is nearly the opposite of what NIU had returning for the 2011-12 season.
Building on Bennett's Year 2 Success
Entering Year 3 of the Kathi Bennett era, the 300-win coach has the NIU women's basketball program pointed in the right direction. The Huskies tallied two wins in the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time since 2007. Last season, the Huskies posted a 14-17 overall record, 6-10 in MAC play, with a team full of underclassmen that can build on the experience, especially after closing the season winning eight of the last 14 contests.
Bennett Extended through the 2017 Season
On Aug. 22, 2012, NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced a contract extension through the 2017 season for Bennett. In her first season in 2010-11, Bennett went 13-17 (7-9 MAC) to improve the win total by 30 percent overall, 75 percent in conference, from the 2009-10 team that she inherited. In her second season, she pushed the 2011-12 Huskies to one win better (14-17, 6-10 MAC) than her first year and made a splash in the MAC Tournament with a youthful roster full of nine underclassmen.
NIU Picked to Finish 4th in the MAC West
The Mid-American Conference coaches and media chose the Huskies to finish fourth in the MAC West Division for the second straight year in the MAC Preseason Poll.
NIU on TV
Sunday, Feb. 3 against at Miami (OH) at 1 p.m. CT will mark NIU's lone TV appearance of the season. The game will be produced by the MAC's regional cable partner SportsTime Ohio.
On the Air
Every NIU basketball game of the 2012-13 season can be heard on the Northern Illinois Sports Network, presented by IMG. Home and away games will air on 1360-WLBK and Huskie All-Access at NIUHuskies.com. Home games can also be watched with live video through Huskie All-Access.