Dec. 26, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois continues its 56th season with its fourth meeting against Xavier on Friday, Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. CT in Charlottesville, Va. during Virginia's 2012 Cavalier Classic this weekend. The teams last met on Dec. 20, 1997 in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Musketeers won 81-58.
NIU-2012 Cavalier Classic Note
Date: Friday, Dec. 28
Tip-Off: 3:30 p.m. CT
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Arena: John Paul Jones Arena
Live Stats: VirginiaSports.com
Radio: Huskie All-Access
Series: NIU leads 2-1
2012-13 Record: 4-6
Home/Away/Neutral: 2-1 | 1-5 | 1-0
Last Game: L, 66-61 at Illinois Chicago
Head Coach: Kathi Bennett
Career Record: 326-217 (20th year)
Record at NIU: 30-40 (3rd year)
Record vs. XU: First meeting
2012-13 Record: 5-6
Home/Away/Neutral: 4-4 | 1-2 | 0-0
Last Game: L, 66-55 at Indiana
Head Coach: Amy Waugh
Career Record: 13-26 (2nd year)
Record at XU:13-26 (2nd year)
Record vs. NIU: First meeting
-- NIU enters the 2012 Cavalier Classic, hosted by Virginia, looking to stop a downward trend as Mid-American Conference play is just under two weeks away. The Huskies have dropped five of their last seven games with both wins coming at home against Loyola on Nov. 30 and Eastern Illinois on Dec. 19. NIU is 1-5 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites.
-- The winner of the NIU-Xavier game will go on to face the winner of the Virginia-Norfolk State game on Dec. 29. Consequently, the losers of each game will square off on Dec. 29 as well. The team that faces NSU will play at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday while the team facing Virginia will play at 6 p.m.
-- The Huskies are in 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 15-26 elsewhere.
The Musketeers entered 2012-13 after an compiling an 8-20 record in 2011-12 under first-year head coach Amy Waugh, a former Xavier standout player. Off to a 5-6 start this season, Xavier has lost five of its last seven games since winning three of its first four. The Musketeers are scoring 64.1 points per game and allowing 63.9. They are also shooting 39.7 percent from the field and allowing a 39.5 percent clip to foes. NIU leads the all-time series 2-1 with wins at home in 1995 and 1996 and a loss on the road in 1997.
Scouting Norfolk State
The Spartans are in their fourth season under 18-year head coach Debra Clark, who owns a 238-261 career record, and have improved their numbers of wins each year. Last season they went 12-17 and are off to a 2-8 start in 2012-13. NSU just ended an eight-game losing streak with a 60-56 win at home over Chowan on Dec. 19. NSU is scoring 57.1 points per game and allowing 63.6. The Spartans are also shooting 34.9 percent from the field and allowing a 36.6 percent clip to opponents. NIU and NSU have never met before.
The Cavaliers are in their second season under 11-year head coach Joanne Boyle, who owns a 235-108 career record. Boyle guided Virginia to a 25-11 mark in 2011-12 and a WNIT postseason appearance. Off to a 6-4 start this season, the Cavs have lost four of their last six games since winning four in a row to start the season. They are coming off a 73-70 double overtime loss at Alabama on Dec. 21. The Cavs are scoring 66.9 points per game and surrendering 62.2. They are also shooting 41.4 percent from the field and giving up a 36.1 percent clip to foes. NIU and Virginia have never met before.
For the first time since coming to NIU, head coach Kathi Bennett will have the whole Huskie squad in attendance to watch her brother coach the Virginia men's team against Wofford on Dec. 30 at 12 p.m. CT. Tony Bennett is in his fourth season as head coach at Virginia. Both Bennett kids followed the footsteps of their father -- legendary coach Dick Bennett -- as collegiate basketball head coaches. Tony has over 100 career wins while both Kathi and Dick have over 300 career wins. The trio has a combined 11 NCAA Tournaments.
Tay Distributing Away
Satavia Taylor set a career high with five assists versus Illinois Chicago. The total was the most any Huskie has had this season and the most since Courtney Shelton's five against Toledo on March 8, 2012. Taylor also had three steals and just one turnover to go with her 12 points and six rebounds in a career-high 40 minutes.
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, DePaul, Eastern Illinois and Illinois Chicago. She scored a season-high 19 points in each of the first two games, added 15 versus DePaul, 10 against EIU and 19 again at UIC. The 82 points in her last five games are the most she's scored in five straight games in her young career and has raised her scoring average per game to a career high mark of 13.3, which ranks sixth in the MAC.
Corral Again Named MAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week
On Dec. 18, the league office announced Amanda Corral as the Mid-American Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week for the second time in three weeks. She had 15 points, six rebounds and two assists against DePaul to earn the honor as she boasts a 4.0 GPA in health sciences. Corral garnered the award for the first time in her career on Dec. 6 after she scored 19 points with four rebounds and an assist and block in a win over Loyola.
Tay and the Trey
NIU ranks third in the MAC in 3-point percentage (32.1%). A large reason for the three-point percentage is Satavia Taylor, who ranks fourth in the MAC with a 41.2 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 430-453 (.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).
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.