Whole new season for NIU

By Andrew Hanson

The MAC tournament is a new season as far as NIU women’s basketball coach Carol Owens is concerned.

“We’ve put the regular season on the shelf,” Owens said. “The players are excited.”

The Huskies will host Miami-Ohio at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The game will feature the MAC’s two top-rebounding teams, with Miami ranked first, averaging 40 rebounds a game, and NIU ranked second with 39.

In a Feb. 4 match up, the Huskies (11-16 overall, 7-9 MAC) defeated Miami 51-49, but that victory doesn’t mean anything to Owens.

“Playing a team the first, second or third time, it doesn’t matter,” Owens said.

NIU received the third spot in the MAC West and locked up a first-round home game due to a Central Michigan loss to Western Michigan Wednesday.

Owens said key road victories against Toledo, Miami (8-19, 3-13) and Akron helped put the Huskies in place to receive the first-round home game.

One victory came without junior guard Stephanie Raymond, a top scorer on the team.

“I felt like we put ourselves in a very good position to host,” Owens said. “It’s an opportunity we haven’t had in a long time.”

The Huskies have gotten a strong boost from junior Kristen Wiener. The center has scored 24 against Ball State and has averaged 19.75 points per game over the past four games.

Sean Ostruszka contributed to this article