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February 15, 2013

Game Preview & Predictions: Northern Illinois

Game Information

Northern Illinois Huskies (5-18, 3-8) at Western Michigan Broncos (15-9, 7-4)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Venue: University Arena
Saturday, February 16 at 6:00 p.m.
All-time series record: WMU leads 51-29

Broadcast Information
Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Announcer: Robin Hook
Stations: WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Pre-game: Begins at 5:30 p.m.
Stream: ESPN3
Television: SportsTime Ohio
Talent: Michael Reghi & David Cecutti

Mark Montgomery's record at NIU: 8-40 (2nd season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 174-14 (10th season)

Additional Information

- Nate Hutcheson became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 points in the Broncos' loss at Bowling Green. Hutcheson has 1,009 points, tying him with Jason Black for 36th on the career scoring list at WMU.

- Tomorrow will mark the 125th game played in Nate Hutcheson's career; that ranks tied for fourth with David Kool and Flenard Whitfield. Should Hutcheson play the rest of the schedule, he will surpass Demetrius Ward for the program's all-time games played leader.

- Shayne Whittington recorded 13 points and 15 rebounds at Bowling Green for his eighth double-double of the season. Whittington is averaging a double-double of 16.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per game over the last five contests.

- Whittington's eight double-doubles are tied with Javon McCrea and Majok Majok for most in the MAC this season.

Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: Having lost two straight winnable road games in a row, Northern Illinois at University Arena is likely just what the doctor ordered for the Broncos.

Effort and hustle has not been the issue for WMU these last couple of games. So I expect them to get back on track at home against an NIU team that will bring it defensively and on the boards. I think this one's a bit more of a grinder than the last time these two teams matched up against one another.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 65, Northern Illinois 59

David James: NIU is certainly among the weakest teams in the league, though they have looked better than last year at times (and sometimes downright decent). It's hard to pick against the Broncos, though, when they blew out NIU 71-34 on the road earlier this year.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 75, Northern Illinois 52

Brandon Fitzsimons: Time for WMU to bounce back. After a rough road trip, WMU has a great chance to win over one of the weaker teams in the West. While the Huskies have shown more fight lately, they still should be no match for the multi-dimensional Broncos.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 78, Northern Illinois 57

D.J. Duckett: The Broncos have hit a bit of a wall it seems. After the big win streak, they really can't seem to get the offense together. I think this will be the game where WMU gets back on track. If Austin Richie and Jared Klein can limit the turnovers and keep NIU out of transition, I see no reason to believe that the Broncos won't come out with the victory.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 68, Northern Illinois 55

Additional Links

WMU Athletics: Broncos Return Home to Host Huskies on STO

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

NIU Athletics: NIU Set for Saturday Showdown at Western Michigan

MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette: Western Michigan basketball's Darius Paul 'questionable' for home game against Northern Illinois Saturday night


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