Star guards set for round two

By Andrew Hanson

Two of the MAC’s best guards will square off for the second time this season.

NIU’s Stephanie Raymond and Eastern Michigan’s Ryan Coleman met in January, and Coleman won the battle of points and in turn helped her team win the game.

Tonight the two will hit the court again as the NIU women’s basketball team takes on EMU at 7:05 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

But despite the game having two headlining players, NIU coach Carol Owens knows there’s more to the game than just those two.

“Raymond is going to have her game, and Coleman is going to have hers,” Owens said. “But it’s what everyone else does. Everyone else has to step up their game.”

Raymond and Coleman are similar players statistically. They were both preseason First Team All-MAC selections this season. Coleman is second in the MAC in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game, and Raymond is fifth, averaging 15.9 ppg.

Coleman is ninth in field-goal percentage, shooting 45 percent, while Raymond is 11th, shooting 43 percent.

NIU is coming off two tough losses to the two top MAC East teams in Bowling Green and Kent State, but Owens thinks the previous games will help the Huskies (9-13 overall, 5-6 MAC) tonight.

“Our team knows the physical play,” the first-year coach said. “We’re prepared for the intensity.”

Owens said their primary goal on offense in tonight’s game is to execute the offense and minimize turnovers.

It will be difficult for the Huskies as the Eagles (16-6, 10-1) are ranked second in MAC in scoring defense holding opponents to 56.2 ppg while scoring 65.2 ppg.