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!
The Northern Star's
Matt Hopkinson takes a look at NIU women's basketball's 2011-12 back court in today's paper. With All-MAC selection Marke Freeman moving on due to graduation, the Huskies will look to senior Courtney Shelton to solidify a young group of guards. Click here
to read all about it.
Today, the Mid-American Conference released its preseason women's basketball picks, as voted on by the league's coaches and select media. The Huskies were tabbed to finish fourth in the West Division, while Toledo was chosen to win the West and the MAC Tournament. Bowling Green was the choice to claim the East Division. For the complete picks and to see the Preseason All-MAC Teams, click here
During Tuesday's NIU Basketball Media Day, the Daily Chronicle's
John Sahly caught up with second-year women's basketball head coach Kathi Bennett and asked about the Huskies' competitive status in Year 2. Bennett's answer was simple: "We have a group of kids who are all, I say highly competitive but I
don't know what the word is, but man, none of them want to lose. None of
them want to be sitting. They fight to stay on the floor."
Competitiveness will not be a problem for the 2011-12 Huskies. Click here
to read Sahly's article and find out more about what the Huskies are bringing to the table this year.
If you missed yesterday's NIU Basketball Media Day or are looking for more coverage, we have you covered. Let's start with the transcript of the press conference -- click here
. After the press conference, the following articles were written from one-on-one interviews:
"New eras begin for NIU men's, women's basketball teams
," by Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star
"Hoops media day notes
," by Huskie Wire
"Montgomery wants to build Huskies' identity on tough defense
," by Ryan Wood, Daily Chronicle
"Bennett set to begin second season
," by Matt Hopkinson, Northern Star
"Montgomery ready to open up first season
" by Brian Thomas, Northern Star
The Huskies were also featured on video by the following local TV stations:
Rockford's NBC affiliate
, Rockford's ABC affiliate
On Monday, former NIU women's basketball standout Marke Freeman (2008-11) inked a professional deal
to play in the PLKK, a Polish basketball league, with Tecza Leszno. She left for Poland yesterday to join her former teammate Ebony Ellis (2007-11), who signed with the PLKK's Odra Brzeg in August. Recently, the 26th member of NIU's 1,000-point club was featured in The State Journal-Register
by Marcia Martinez. Click here to read
The Mid-American Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments will see a change for the 2011-12 season, the league announced today. Under a new format, both the men's and women's top two
seeds will receive byes to the Semifinals, with the third and fourth seeds receiving
byes to the Quarterfinals. Click here to see the full announcement.
Montgomery was introduced yesterday as the new head coach of the NIU men's
basketball program. Read the official announcement and watch the archive of the
introductory press conference. See what Montgomery's colleagues and former
players have to say about the hire on the Montgomery Fact Sheet.
out what the media had to say about the hiring of Montgomery. The DeKalb Daily
Chronicle talks about Montgomery's initial excitement to see the Convocation
Center and the NIU community. The Daily Chronicle also spoke with Michigan
State head coach Tom Izzo about the readiness of his former associate head
coach to take on the top job at NIU and shared its take on NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher's third major coaching hire in less than a year.
Daily Herald notes that Montgomery has a big fan in his former mentor Izzo and the
Rockford Register Star talks about Montgomery's plans for building a winner at
NIU. The Chicago Sun-Times notes Montgomery's previous success recruiting in the Chicagoland area ESPN's Scott Powers writes about Montgomery's belief that Huskie hoops is
a sleeping giant and Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal shares the
Michigan State side on the new head man at NIU.
A series of
video interviews with Montgomery are also available around the web. David
Kaplan of Comcast SportsNet Chicago had the opportunity to speak with the coach
following his introduction. Montgomery also sat down with the Rockford-area
television stations; you can see his interview with WTVO here, his WIFR
interview here and his chat with WREX broken up into three parts here, here and
that all members of the community and the Huskie family are welcome to come
meet Coach Montgomery on Monday night when NIU hosts "Mark Madness" at the
Convocation Center. The free event will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. in the main
concourse of the Convocation Center, free light snacks and beverages will be
This weekend in NIU Athletics is an interesting scheduling anomaly. Saturday, the men's and women's basketball teams will be facing Toledo in a doubleheader action. The women play host to the Rockets
in a key Mid-American Conference West battle. Tip off for Saturday's contest, which is also Senior Day and NIU PinkZone game, is set for 3 p.m. As fans are leaving the Convocation Center, they can turn to 1360 AM WLBK and probably catch Bill Baker's pregame show prior to the start of the men's basketball contest at Toledo
. The men's game begins at 6 p.m.
While it isn't that unusual for two teams in the same conference to be playing each other in two different sports on the same day, it is unique when the same schools from two different conferences square off in doubleheader action. That will be the case Saturday in Lubbock, Texas as the baseball team faces Texas Tech
at 12 p.m., while the softball team, which is in Lubbock for the Jeannie McHaney Memorial Classic hosted by Texas Tech, will face the No. 21 Red Raiders
at 4 p.m.
Fans can watch Saturday' women's basketball game through Huskie All-Access and both of softball's games with Texas Tech through RaiderVision All-Access.