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Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Softball falls to Illinois State, prepares for double-header

By Matt Hopkinson | April 3, 2013

Softball could not pick up a win in their first midweek game of the season against the Illinois State Redbirds. ISU (15-14, 1-2 MVC) had the same amount of hits as NIU (11-19, 1-1 MAC) but made more of them count as it picked up a 7-3 win. “We weren’t...

Men’s tennis to take on Western Michigan

By Thomas Hiley III | March 27, 2013

NIU men’s tennis will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. Friday to open up its MAC play against Western Michigan (11-7, 1-0 MAC).

Western Michigan won the MAC Tournament from 2006 to 2010, but lost in the semifinals last season to eventual champion Ball State. NIU coach Patrick Fisher is familiar with Western Michigan’s success and knows first-hand how tough the Broncos are; he’s never beaten them in his tenure at NIU.

“Everyone in their lineup is a threat,” Fisher said. “They’ve won the league and gone to the tournament, I would say, seven or eight times out of the last 10. They are the team to beat. They are the class of the league. I think in a lot of ways they’ve been like the Akron of men’s soccer; no one really can beat them on a regular basis.”

The Huskies (14-5) have not matched the Broncos’ success over the past few seasons, but have steadily improved in each campaign.

This season has gone exceptionally well for NIU, already accumulating its most team wins since its 16-win 2002-03 showing with nine matches still scheduled.

The Huskies have made it clear they are ready to be the new breed of the MAC, and with a lineup capable of putting up 14 wins without two-time All-MAC performer Maksym Bartiuk, the once-tested depth of the lineup seems to no longer be a problem.

“We’ve had to deal with an unhealthy lineup this whole year,” Fisher said. “Regardless of where we are at, we still feel we have a good chance to win. We’ve won a lot already without having guys in the lineup at certain times this year.”

Fisher said his current roster has what it takes to avenge last season’s 6-1 loss to the Broncos.

“We’re really excited,” Fisher said. “We’re probably in the best shape going into the conference play in the last four or five years. Obviously, we’ve won a lot and our guys have some great confidence right now. Except for a couple matches, we’ve been in position to win every single match and I don’t see that changing this week.”

Women’s basketball lose to Ball State

By Bob Kreider | February 24, 2013

All good things must come to an end sometime, and for the NIU women's basketball team, that end came too soon.

After pulling off the upset against Kent State on Tuesday, the Huskies (No 3 seed in the MAC West) didn't have enough left in their bag of tricks to pull off the improbable upset against Ball State (No 1 seed in the MAC West) Friday as they fell 83-72 to the Cardinals in the semi-finals of the MAC Tournament at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

"We're disappointed in the loss, we wanted to advance to the championship game," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "I thought we played hard. I thought our seniors

did a great job this year with their leadership. I'm really proud of them."

After falling behind 41-32 at half, NIU was unable to go on a run to get the game close and Ball State didn't give NIU any help by going 17-17 from the foul line.

"I felt like we were a couple baskets away from making this a game," Owens said. "We got ourselves in a hole in the first half. We had a hard time stopping them defensively."

Ball State's spread offense proved to be difficult for NIU to defend. The Cardinals saw five players hitdouble digit scoring with Audrey McDonald leading the way with 18 points. Porchia Green scored 16 to follow, while Julie DeMuth and Lisa Rusche chipped in with 12

each. Kelsey Corbin rounded out the five with 11 points.

The Huskies got solid performances out of underclassmen Kylie York and Beckie Smith. The freshman York, scored 11 points while hitting three three-pointers, while the sophomore Smith, scored a career-high 15 points on 7-8 shooting from the field.

She also recorded a career high in rebounds pulling down 10 boards. NIU guard Stephanie Raymond led all scorers with 23 points. She also had a game-high eight assists.

Track and field continues strong indoor season at Ball State

By Ed Rietveld | February 17, 2013

Track and field finished the regular portion of its indoor season with the Ball State University Quadrilateral meet Friday. The meet gave the Huskies a chance to compete against three MAC schools ahead of this weekend’s MAC indoor conference championships....

Erik Anderson | Northern Star

Men’s basketball falls to Ball State

By Brian Earle | February 14, 2013

A 20-point second half effort by Abdel Nader wasn't enough for NIU to stem the tide against Ball State.

The Huskies lost 75-65 to the Cardinals, which is their second-straight loss against a MAC rival.

The Huskies (2-15, 1-4 MAC) played the MAC West division leading Cardinals (12-5, 4-1 MAC) very close in the early going.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw several tie scores and NIU actually held the lead 26-21 with five minutes left to play in the half. Ball State went on a 16-2 run, which included a buzzer beating three pointer by point guard Randy Davis to put it up 37-28 at halftime.

"The run was big because the game was obviously back and forth," said Ball State coach Billy Taylor.

That momentum carried over into the second half for Ball State. The Cardinals, who shot 54 percent from the field in the game, went on a 15-7 run to increase their lead to 50-35.

NIU kept fighting, though, and pulled within five points after Nader scored a layup to make the score 50-45 with eight minutes left to play.

Nader would catch fire, scoring 13-straight points for the Huskies, including three triples and finished the game with a career-high 26 points.

"He's a big guard. He's tall, he's got a strong body, he can get the ball where he wants to, he can shoot threes, he can pull up. So he's really a difficult cover," Taylor said.

Nader said he felt like he was in the zone, and that he's become more comfortable playing at the collegiate level.

"For me, it's whatever I can do to help my team win," Nader said. "I think it took a couple games because it's a tough transition, but I'm definitely getting more comfortable on the floor."

Even after NIU guard Tony Nixon's put-back dunk cut the Cardinals lead to 65-58 with two minutes left to play, Ball State kept rolling, matching the Huskies shot for shot down the stretch.

Ball State forward Jarrod Jones led his team with 17 points and eight rebounds. He had a lot of help from his teammates, as forward Chris Bond scored 14 points, guard Jesse Berry had 12 and Davis chipped in with 11.

NIU played well defensively on Jones, a potential NBA draft pick, for most of the game but couldn't stop the other hot shooting Cardinals players.

"For the first half we were going to double down on Jones and try to limit his touches," Montgomery said. "Then at halftime we changed it because he wasn't really hurting us, but their shooters were."

Nader was the only NIU player to score in double digits, something Montgomery would like to see changed down the road.

"I looked at the stats and I see that Ball State had four guys in double figures and that's what I envisioned us to be," Montgomery said.

"We definitely take the team approach; we want to see multiple guys in double figures, we want multiple guys with six, seven or eight points. I thought we had great shots, we just missed them. But sometimes, that's just the way the ball bounces."

Women’s gymnastics suffers first loss of the season

By Matt Hopkinson | January 27, 2013

Women’s gymnastics went on the road for the first time this season and tasted defeat for the first time, as well. Heading into Ball State (2-2, 2-0 MAC) for its second MAC meet of the season, the Huskies (2-1, 1-1 MAC) were in the lead going into the...

NIU gymnastics set for Ball State meet

By Matt Hopkinson | January 23, 2013

The gymnastics team has notched two victories in its last two meets, both of the comeback variety. While the victories are always a nice thing and show the resiliency of the team, head coach Sam Morreale and junior gymnast Natasha Jufko know that more...

Volleyball sweeps Toledo, overcomes Ball State in road games

By Mike Romor | November 4, 2012

After splitting its two home matches last weekend, NIU volleyball knew what it had to get the job done on the road. The Huskies (18-12, 9-5 MAC) did just that, sweeping Toledo (8-19, 2-12) and downing Ball State (13-14, 6-8) 3-1. NIU opened strong against...

Women’s golf finishes out season at MAC preview

By Sean Anderson | October 16, 2012

NIU women’s golf concluded its fall season with a 10th place finish at the 2012 MAC Preview on Tuesday. The highlight of the tournament was the play of senior Allie Parthie, who shot a 77 which was good enough to finish tied for fifth. “I actually...

Men’s golf tees off at Ball State, NIU’s Huggins shines

By Sean Anderson | October 15, 2012

NIU men’s golf began play in Ball State’s Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie, Ind., Monday. Sophomore Nick Huggins was the highlight of day one. Unlike most tournaments on NIU’s schedule, this event features completely individual competition...

Women’s soccer fall to Miami (Ohio) and Ball State over the weekend

By Ed Rietveld | October 14, 2012

In its final home weekend of the season NIU women’s soccer dropped a pair of games to Miami (Ohio) and Ball State. Friday’s match between Miami (Ohio) and NIU felt like a 90 minute roller coaster ride, with many twists and turns. At the end of that...

Women’s soccer to play last home games against Miami (Ohio), Ball State

By Ed Reitveld | October 11, 2012

NIU women’s soccer concludes the home portion of its regular-season schedule with a pair of games against Miami (Ohio) and Ball State this weekend. The Huskies (6-5-2, 2-2-2 MAC) are coming off a weekend split against Bowling Green and Central Michigan....