Ohio will try to secure its first sweep of the season on Wednesday night when it faces Northern Illinois in DeKalb. It was only 17 days since the two teams last saw each other in Athens. The Bobcats looked great in that 20-point blowout win, but will a home court advantage and a new game plan be enough to derail the Bobcats hopes?
Opponent: Northern Illinois (5-11, 1-4 Mid-American Conference)
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Place: Convocation Center (DeKalb, Illinois)
Where to watch: ESPN+
How to listen: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ohio/
MEET THE OPPONENT
Head Coach Lisa Carlsen (5th season)
04 Courtney Woods
15 Grace Hunter
12 Riley Blackwell
23 Myia Starks
34 Ally May
10 Chelby Koker
32 Abby Woollacott
24 Paulina Castro
14 Mikayla Brandon
25 A’jah Davis
03 Gabby Nitkitnaite
Individual stat leaders
Points per game: Woods (17.1 per game)
Rebounds per game: Blackwell (5.7 per game)
Steals: Starks (31)
Field goal percentage: Davis (.518)
3-point percentage: Hunter (.385)
Free throw percentage : Woods (.868)
Team stats compared to Ohio
Ohio’s stats are in parentheses
Points per game: 64.1 (71.1)
Rebounds per game: 40.3 (35.6)
Steals: 8.38 (11.25)
Field goal percentage: .376 (.405)
3-point percentage: .308 (.320)
Free throw percentage: .685 (.631)
Ohio currently leads the all-time series against the Huskies 21-19. The two teams last meeting was only three weeks ago. Ohio handled the Huskies on its home floor 87-67. The Bobcats are going for their fifth straight win over NIU.
Players to watch for
For Ohio, Erica Johnson has always played well against the Huskies. It was on the road last season when the redshirt sophomore notched her first double-double. After dropping 26 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists in Ohio’s blowout win, one might have thought the Huskies would be more keen on stopping Johnson in a potential rematch. The Huskies keyed in on Johnson when Ohio met NIU in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals, but Johnson’s 18 points and 10 rebounds only showed that the Huskies have more studying to do.
NIU’s best weapon against the Bobcats is Courtney Woods. The redshirt senior not only owns the Huskies’ record for 3-pointers in a season (105) but can also put the ball on the floor. She currently ranks third amongst the MAC’s best scorers with 17.1 points a game. She’s also NIU’s best passer. NIU’s offense is the worst in the conference, but that doesn’t mean that the Huskies don’t have a skilled bucket-getter to give the Bobcats fits.
Why is this game important?
Ohio did not start MAC play like it wanted, but it’s still in the hunt. If two, final second, buckets didn’t fall through the hoop, then the Bobcats could be looking at a 5-0 record. Hopes are still high for a MAC Championship, but a loss to the Huskies could potentially bring the Bobcats down to the ground floor.