GAME #16 • Tuesday, Jan. 12 • 8 p.m. ET
Western Michigan (5-10, 0-2 MAC) vs. Northern Illinois (6-8, 0-2 MAC)
Location: DeKalb, Ill.
Site: Convocation Center (9,100)
All-Time Series: WMU leads NIU, 24-16
Radio: WQXC, 100.9 F.M. - Robin Hook (play-by-play), Click here to listen online
Live Stats: Click Here
Web Streaming: Click Here
Complete game notes available for download in PDF form at bottom of page.
BRING ON THE MAC
Western Michigan is in its third game of its 16-game Mid-American Conference slate and have dropped its first two. The Broncos have two road games in a row, at Northern Illinois (Jan. 12) and Central Michigan (Jan. 16). A home game against Toledo (Jan. 20) wraps-up the first round against the MAC West.
WMU vs. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Western Michigan leads the all-time series against Northern Illinois, 24-16, and has won six of the last 10. The Huskies however have had the Broncos’ number in each of the last three outings. WMU is looking for its first win over NIU since a 75-51 victory in Kalamazoo on Jan. 19, 2008. The Broncos are 10-10 all-time in DeKalb.
HOW THEY MATCHUP
Both Western Michigan and Northern Illinois have opened MAC play 0-2. WMU fell to Ball State (70-55) and Eastern Michigan (61-52) while NIU was defeated by Toledo (71-66) and Ball State (64-62). The two teams had four non-conference opponents in common (Loyola-Chicago, Southern Illinois, Chicago State and Illinois-Chicago). WMU went 3-1 against that line (lost vs. UIC), while NIU won all four. NIU has three players averaging double figures and averages 64.9 ppg. Likewise, the Broncos boast three players in double digits, averaging 62.9 ppg as a team.
LAST TIME OUT
The Broncos opened with a 13-3 run, but hit a cold spell late in the game falling to Eastern Michigan, 61-52, Saturday in Kalamazoo. The Eagles took the lead five minutes before the half and led the rest of the way. WMU trailed 32-29 at halftime. Western Michigan failed to make a field goal from the 9:06 mark in the second half until 32 seconds remaining in the game. Brenna Banktson led WMU with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Miame Giden added 14 points, six rebounds and Ebony Cleary had seven points, 11 rebounds.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR
WMU fell in both meetings last year, 71-65, in overtime in DeKalb (1/14) and 73-69 in Kalamazoo (3/7). Tiera DeLaHoussaye led WMU in the first game with 28 points and Brenna Banktson in the second with 19. Leading rebounders were Miame Giden with eight on the road and Ebony Cleary with seven at home.
Three players average double figures for Western Michigan. Sophomore Miame Giden leads the squad with 15.8 ppg, while Ebony Cleary is contributing 13.2 ppg and a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game. Junior Taylor Manley tosses in 11.5 ppg.
BANKTSON AT BEST DURING MAC PLAY
Brenna Banktson’s 14 points vs. Eastern Michigan last game tied a season high. Banktson who averaged 11.0 points per game last season as a sophomore, had not reached double figures since scoring 14 at Pitt on Dec. 5. Banktson averages 7.7 points and 4.1 rebounds this year. Banktson has been one to improve play during the conference season. She finished out 2008-09 scoring double digits in 11 of last 14 MAC contests.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS
• 2009-10 Record: 6-8, 0-2 MAC
• 2008-09 Record: 15-15, 10-6 MAC (3rd West)
• Head Coach (season): Carol Owens (fith)
Northern Illinois returns nine of 13 letterwinners and three of its five starters from last season. Three players average double figures for the Huskies, led by Marke Freeman’s 16.9 ppg, Ebony Ellis’ 13.4 ppg and Mauvolyene Adams’ 12.9 ppg. All three rank in the top 15 in the Mid-American Conference. Also bringing down 10.4 rebounds per game to average a double-double, Ellis ranks third in the MAC in rebounding.
Gone from the squad is last year’s leading scorer and point guard Jessie Wilcox (10.9). Wilcox came up big for NIU in the overtime win last year in DeKalb, scoring 13 of her team-high 15 points in the last four minutes of regulation and overtime.