Northern Illinois senior student-athletes Lauren
Eberts (women's soccer), Samantha Grams (volleyball), Shaakira Haywood (women's
basketball), Jenelle McCalla (track & field) and Amanda Sheppard (softball)
have been honored as 2013 Outstanding Women Student Awards for their
contributions to Northern Illinois University. Awarded annually since 1980, the
honor is given by the NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of Women to 48
women across all disciplines.
Eberts, who has a 3.762 GPA in public health, played
in every minute of the team's 2012 season. The senior defender helped NIU allow
the fewest goals in the Mid-American Conference and the second-fewest shots on
goal in NIU's program history.
Grams maintains a 3.805 GPA as a health sciences
major. The Forest Park, Ill., native earned Academic
All-MAC honorable mention laurels during her senior campaign with the Huskies
after playing in 24 matches and 62 sets in 2012. Grams totaled 28 kills, 39
blocks and 14 digs during the year, scoring 48 total points during the season.
Haywood has a 3.687 GPA in psychology.
in all 30 games, starting 12 at center in 2012-13 and has played in 37 straight
games dating back to February of 2012. Haywood scored a career-high 73 points,
averaging 2.4 points a game, shooting 43.3 percent (26-60) on the season.
McCalla, who has a perfect 4.0 GPA in psychology, holds the NIU school
record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:01.76. This year, the Whitby,
Ontario, Canada, native qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in the 60
hurdles, while also contributing on NIU's 4x400 relay teams.
Sheppard has a 3.495 GPA in kinesiology and helped the Huskies reach
the 2013 MAC Championship game. The Oak Forest, Ill., native batted .298 and
ranked second on the team with a .470 slugging percentage, while playing in all
57 games. Sheppard also was second on the team with 18 extra-base hits,
including a team-best 12 doubles and five home runs.
Northern Illinois dominated their Senior Night showdown with Eastern Michigan, winning 194.775-192.550
. Megan Melendez, Jaelyn Olson, Kim Gotlund and Natalie Sutter all won individual honors on the night.
Baseball: Northern Illinois went 1-2 at Minnesota's Dairy Queen Classic with all three contests coming down to the last inning. In Friday's tournament lid-lifter, the Huskies fell to Utah, 6-1. On Saturday afternoon, NIU and Dartmouth were locked in a pitchers' duel, but it was the Big Green who came away with a 1-0 win. In the tournament finale, Alex Klonowski's complete game two-hitter lifted the Huskies to a 2-1 win over the host Golden Gophers. Softball: NIU split their Sunday doubleheader in Carbondale, Ill., as part of Southern Illinois' Coach B Classic. In the first game, the Huskies squeaked out a 3-2 win against Butler, but lost in extras to Saint Louis in the second game.
NIU split a pair of Saturday contests
at home. In the first match, the Huskies swept Western Illinois, 7-0, before falling to the Green Bay Phoenix, 4-1.
The Huskies took second place Saturday
at the 36-hole Forest Hills Collegiate. Bryce Emory paced NIU with a fifth place showing.
Wrestling: The Huskies capped their MAC slate on a positive note, defeating Buffalo, 20-18. Nick Smith, Rob Jillard, Andrew Morse and Matt Mougin got wins for NIU early before Jared Torrence won the meet with an overtime decision at heavyweight. Gymnastics:
Northern Illinois recorded a season-best score for the second consecutive meet, but it was not enough in a 195.175-194.375 loss at Iowa State
. Kim Gotlund posted career-best scores on the balance beam and uneven bars.
NIU opened their spring season Monday and Tuesday with a fourth place finish at the MAC Match Play
in Dade City, Fla. After upsetting second-seeded Akron in the first round, the Huskies lost to eventual champion Bowling Green to close out Monday. On Tuesday, Northern dropped a tight contest against Eastern Michigan in the third-place match.
The Huskies got their first two MAC wins of the year, both coming on the road. NIU shot 59.2 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range Wednesday to down Ohio, 73-52
. Sunday at Kent State, the Huskies topped the Golden Flashes, 52-47
Northern Illinois was involved in two tight contests over the past week with different results. On Wednesday, Abdel Nader's jumper with 2.2 seconds left helped the Huskies beat Kent State, 67-65
. Three days later, Toledo came in to the Convocation Center and emerged with a 69-64 win
The Huskies dropped two games during the week. Despite trailing at the half, NIU surged back from an 18-point deficit to take a lead against Eastern Michigan, but ultimately lost in a 67-62 decision
. On Super Bowl Sunday against MAC East leader Miami (Ohio), the Huskies pushed the RedHawks, but lost, 65-51
Northern Illinois suffered their first loss of the season Saturday, falling in a 6-1 decision
to Southern Illinois.
NIU couldn't snap their losing streak Saturday, as they fell to #7 Missouri and Eastern Michigan
. In the first half of the doubleheader, the Huskies dropped a close 22-17 decision to EMU. They followed that up with a 39-3 loss to the nationally-ranked Tigers.
Northern Illinois suffered their first loss of the season Friday night, as they were ousted by Ball State, 192.475-192.075
. NIU outscored BSU in three events and Megan Melendez won the balance beam, but it was not enough against the Cardinals.
The Huskies are still looking for their first conference win after losing two last week. NIU led at halftime against Akron on Wednesday, but an 18-2 Zip run to start the second sent the Huskies to a 63-52 loss
. It was a similar story on Saturday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. where Northern dropped an 83-56 contest against Central Michigan
NIU pushed #12 Central Michigan, but could not pull off the upset Friday in a 23-12 loss to the Chippewas
. Wins by Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta and Andrew Morse put the Huskies up 9-7 at halftime, but it was not enough against CMU's strong upper weight wrestlers.
The Huskies opened their season Sunday with a 6-1 loss to #35 Minnesota
. Frederic Cadieux notched the lone point for NIU with a win in third singles.
In their opening week of MAC play, Northern Illinois split two matchups with MAC East foes. On Wednesday, the Huskies ended a 13-game skid at Miami (Ohio) with a 72-61 win against the RedHawks
. Three days later, the Huskies dropped their home conference opener in a 68-53 loss to Akron
The Huskies fell in their first two MAC games of the year during the past week. In their conference opener, NIU lost 60-53 to Buffalo
in a game that was plagued by Northern turnovers. On Sunday, the Huskies hurt themselves again with 25 turnovers in a 57-51 loss to Ball State
Northern Illinois' return from a month-long roadtrip did not go smoothly, as NIU lost, 32-13, to the Ohio Bobcats
. Despite wins by Derek Elmore, Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta, Ohio dispatched the Huskies with four pins on the night.
Track & Field:
Northern Illinois opened 2013 with several promising performances
. Sidra Sherrill won the shot put, while Ellen Renk, Alex Schad and Ida Burbulla turned out strong showings in jumps. On the track, Megan Gregory made two finals appearances.
Northern Illinois ended its historic season on New Year's Day with a 31-10 loss against the Florida State Seminoles
in the Discover Orange Bowl. Jordan Lynch finished the game 15-for-41 passing for 176 yards, while Tommylee Lewis led NIU with five catches for 61 yards. The Huskies finished the season with a 12-2 record.
NIU nearly pulled off a big upset Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena, but ultimately fell to DePaul, 69-64
. Adbel Nader scored a game-high 20 points in the game that saw the Huskies get within one with 16 seconds to play.
The Huskies started their Christmas break with a 68-46 loss at DePaul
Saturday night. Amanda Corral led the team with 15 points, but the Blue Demons' 49.1 shooting percentage for the game was too much to overcome.
The Huskies lost to a Missouri Valley Conference opponent for the second-straight week, this time falling to Indiana State, 58-52
. Amanda Corral led NIU with 19 points.
Track & Field:
Northern Illinois began their indoor season strong
with one event title and six top five finishes at the Cyclone Holiday Preview. Freshman Ida Burbulla took the high jump title with a mark of 5-03.75 (1.62m).
Northern Illinois won their second consecutive Mid-American Conference title Friday with a 44-37 double overtime win over then No. 17 Kent State
at Detroit's Ford Field. Jordan Lynch combined for 372 yards of total offense, while the Huskie defense held KSU's vaunted rushing attack in check before Demetrius Stone's fourth down interception in the endzone sealed the win. The victory solidified a spot for the Huskies in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl against ACC champion Florida State.
Northern Illinois wrapped up its regular season Friday with a convincing 49-7 win over Eastern Michigan
. Akeem Daniels rushed for 112 yards on 12 carries, while Jordan Lynch combined for 275 yards of total offense in the win. The victory was NIU's 11th in a row and marks the first time that the program has reached the 11-win plateau during the regular season.
Northern Illinois clinched its third consecutive MAC West title Wednesday night with a 31-24 win over the Toledo Rockets
at Huskie Stadium. Jordan Lynch led the Huskies back from a 14-7 halftime deficit with 295 yards passing in the third quarter alone as part of NIU's 21-point explosion. Lynch also became the first QB in NCAA history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 150 in the same game.
NIU went 1-1 during the week after a pair of games. On Tuesday, the Huskies took part in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon with a 7 a.m. tilt against Valparaiso. However, the Crusaders' hot shooting was too much in a 69-46 defeat
. Northern rebounded from that loss Sunday with a convincing 72-54 win over Judson
The Huskies went 2-0 in the consolation rounds of the WNIT. On Saturday night, NIU knocked off SoCon favorite Davidson in a 64-61 win
for Northern's first win of the year. Yet, the squad would top that performance the next night with a 74-46 win over Morehead State
The Huskies advanced to their third-straight MAC Tournament title match over the weekend, but found a similar result in the final. NIU opened the weekend with a 3-1 win over Akron
, as the Huskies won three sets in a row after dropping the first set. They followed that up with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over top-seeded Ohio
in which the Huskies dropped the first two sets. However, the run came to an end Sunday afternoon when NIU fell to Bowling Green, 3-2
, in the championship match, despite leading two sets to none.
Northern Illinois went 2-1 in their three matches of the NIU Duals
. After winning a forfeit-filled opener against Calumet College of St. Joseph, 57-0, the Huskies shut out the Loras Duhawks, 41-0, to set up a final showdown against No. 23 Purdue. However, the Boilermakers handed the Huskies a 37-0 defeat for NIU's first loss of the season.
Northern Illinois dropped their season opener Friday with a 77-64 defeat at Nebraska Omaha
. Aksel Bolin paced NIU with 11 points, while freshman Daveon Balls added 10 for the Huskies.
The Huskies started their year off Monday with a tight 45-42 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan
, as Amanda Corral led NIU with 12 points and sank to critical free throws late. The squad kicked off their regular season Friday night in Iowa City, Iowa, when they dropped a 63-40 decision to the Iowa Hawkeyes
Northern Illinois' season came to a close over the weekend, but not without a run to the MAC Championship match. On Friday, the Huskies held West Virginia scoreless for the second time in 2012 en route to a 1-0 win over the Mountaineers
in the semi-finals. However, No. 1 Akron ended NIU's run Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory
in the title match to clinch the conference crown.
Northern Illinois kicked off their home schedule in impressive fashion
Saturday, grabbing the program's 500th win and knocking off Big Ten foe Indiana en route to a 3-0 performance at the Huskie Duals. The day began with a 36-3 win over Tiffin in which the Huskies won each of the first three matches. They followed that up with a strong 26-12 win over South Dakota State for the 500th win in program history. The day was not complete, though, until NIU got a 19-13 win over Indiana - the team's first over a Big Ten opponent since 2009.
Former NIU women's basketball standout Kristin Wiener was named Bradley's Director of Basketball Operations Wednesday
Wiener averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in her four-year career at Northern. As a senior, she averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to earn third team All-MAC honors. She ranks 14th in career scoring at NIU and sits in 14th for career rebounding. An honorable mention All-MAC honoree as a junior, she led the Huskies in rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots each of her last two seasons in DeKalb.
After her time at NIU, the Apple Valley, Minn., native played three seasons professionally in Spain and one in Portugal. Following her professional career, Wiener landed an internship with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.
You can see why NIU women's basketball Head Coach Kathi Bennett was interested in Howards Grove's (Wis.) guard Alexis Lindstrom. Bennett preaches defense and her trademark "pack" philosophy. Lindstrom was just named Wisconsin Sports Network's top senior Defensive player
. Sounds like a great fit!
It's not too often that your top two scorers are freshmen. That's the case for the 2011-12 NIU women's basketball team as rookies Amanda Corral (9.5 PPG) and Claire Jakubicek (10.9 PPG) pace the Huskie scoring attack. For second-year Head Coach Kathi Bennett and the Huskies, this odd fact bodes well for the future of the program, as highlighted by today's article
in the Northern Star
by Eli Gehn.
If you were at the NIU-Ohio women's basketball game on Saturday, you may have noticed the surplus in kids both on and off the court. That's because it was Kids Day at the Convo. The annual event gave any of the kids in attendance an inside look at an NIU basketball game as they served as reporters, team managers, event staff, etc. While they had a great time during a 50-46 NIU victory, two kid reporters put the day into words in their recap stories below.
The first comes to us from Evelyn Adams:
DeKALB, Ill. -Huskies beat Bobcats 50 to 46. The Huskies led throughout the game, but ran into a little bit of trouble towards the end. They also ran into foul trouble early on. Overall, the Huskies played a very nice game. Northern Illinois fought hard and defeated Ohio. GO NIU. Another Huskies victory.
The second comes to us from Erik Books:
DeKALB, Ill. - Huskies won 50-46! Wow, did you see Kim Davis take that hit in the first period? The Huskies were making baskets all over the place! After the game I got to sit down with Kathi Bennett and she talked about how the game went along. During the game I saw some roughness out on the court. When I was in media room I heard the Huskies screaming very, very loud in the locker room because they won. I also talked to Semeka Randall and she said her big shooters did not step up and play. She also looked very sad. She went a lot faster than Kathi Bennett did. Out on the court I think there were more fouls than usual this time. I personally think the Huskies played great today. If there are any Ohio fans out there reading this they are most likely to be unhappy. The game was similar to my game Saturday morning, except there was less diving for the ball and less stealing in the Huskies game. Today my favorite player was Kim Davis because she worked her butt off getting the ball in the hoop!
Thanks for the submissions and great work, Evelyn and Erik!