Who: North Dakota State (9-15 Overall, 5-7 Summit League)
at Western Illinois (10-13 overall, 3-7 Summit League)
Where: MACOMB • Western Hall - Waste Management Court
When: Thursday, February 14 - 7 p.m.
Series History: Western trails 8-4
FOLLOW THE ACTION
The Dog (88.3 FM) and WMQZ 104.1 FM
Talent: Michael Broskowski (play-by-play), Logan Sell (color)
UP NEXT: Western plays host to South Dakota State at 4:30 this Saturday... The game is part of the Think Pink event. Fans can purchase Think Pink t-shirts, game tickets and tickets to the Hawaiian Luau afterwards. For more information call the Athletics Department at (309) 298-1190.
LEATHERNECKS LOOK TO END LOSING STREAK: Western Illinois will take the court Thursday looking to end a season-long five-game losing streak... The Leathernecks are averaging just 54.8 points per game, although on a positive note defensively giving up just 58.8 points... The team is shooting 35 percent from the field, 26.7 from 3-point range and seen its free throw percentage drop to 56.8 percent... Defensively, the team has forced 10 more turnovers than it committed during this stretch... Charnelle Reed is averaging a team-leading 12.2 points per game over the past five with Ashley Luke close behind at 12 points and 9.2 rebounds... Rebecca Henricson has 16 assists to 12 turnovers and also leads the team with 10 steals.
LUKE CHALLENGING FOR NEWCOMER HONORS: Redshirt-freshman Ashley Luke continues to make a case for Summit League Newcomer of the Year for the Leathernecks. In the 10 conference games, she leads the squad with 11.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game, shooting just under 50 percent from the field... Luke is second on the team with 14 steals... Her 42 defensive rebounds surpass the total rebounds of all but one teammate... Overall she remains fourth in scoring at 8.9 points per game with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds. Her two double-doubles also lead the squad.
HENRICSON TAKES THE POINT: Junior point guard Rebecca Henricson continues to rank among The Summit League leaders in assists while making a name for herself nationally... Henricson enters this week fourth averaging 3.7 assists per game, while ranking tied for third in assist/turnover ratio at 1.9 (86 assists/46 turnovers). Henricson stands 42nd nationally in the ratio... Henricson has shown off her defense as well, now tied for fifth in the league averaging 1.8 steals per game... Over the past nine games, Henricson has recorded 38 assists (including a career-high 11 at North Dakota State) to only 14 turnovers.
GRAVINA'S TEAMS NOW TOP TWO: With six regular season games left to play, Western Illinois already made the second-most 3-point field goals in program history with 178 and counting... Second-year head coach JD Gravina can now stake claim to the top two 3-point shooting teams in history, as last year's squad holds the record at 215... The previous record came five years ago (2007-08) at 155... Western needs to average just under what it has been making all season to break the record again - 7.7 per game good for 14th nationally.
SUMMIT LEAGUE 'TOP 10': Western leads the Summit League averaging 15.4 assists, 7.7 3-point field goals per game and 3.7 blocks... Western is second posting a 0.9 assist/turnover ratio, tied for third in scoring offense (63.9 ppg) and fourth in 3-point shooting (.328)... Ashley Luke stands fourth in FG shooting (.466, best average by a freshman) and sixth at 6.5 rebounds. She's first with 2.8 offensive rebounds and tied for seventh at 0.8 blocks... Rebecca Henricson stands fourth averaging 3.8 assists, tied for fifth in steals (1.8) and second in assist/turnover ratio (1.9)... Saule Kontautaite is first in 3s made (2.2)... Michelle Maher is fourth averaging 1.9 3s per game... Charnelle Reed stands third in the league shooting .437 from 3-range and tied for fifth averaging 1.6 3s per game... Rachel Evans is tied for ninth at 0.7 blocks.
NATIONALLY SPEAKING: Western Illinois women's basketball is currently nationally ranked 14th in 3-point field goals made per game (7.7), 47th in assists per game (15.4), 74th in 3-point shooting percentage (.328), 43rd in personal fouls per game (14.2) and 69th in assist to turnover ratio (0.92)... Rebecca Henricson ranks 42nd nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.87)... Saule Kontautaite is 91st in 3-pointers per game (2.17).
ROUND ONE AT NDSU: The Leathernecks held off a late charge by North Dakota State, and pulled out an 85-83 victory on January 19 (the team's last win before starting the current five-game losing streak)... Western held a 25-point lead in the second half before the Bison charged back and cut the lead to two points late in the game... A late defensive stand, helped by a Rebecca Henricson blocked shot, gave Western its first-ever win in Fargo... Saule Kontautaite tied a program record hitting seven 3-point field goals and finishing with 30 points. She played all 40 minutes... Jackie Rieger, a late addition to the starting line-up, nearly had a double-double totaling 10 points and nine rebounds... Ashley Luke scored 11 points and Charnelle Reed added 14 points off the bench... Henricson dished out a career-high 11 assists... Katie Birkel led NDSU with 23 points and seven assists while Marena Whittle added 18 points. Dani DeGagne contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Britney Gaines added 14 points off the bench.
SCOUTING THE BISON: North Dakota State is coming off a home loss to Fort Wayne, 70-58 on Saturday... The Bison held a five point halftime lead but the Mastodons shot 56 percent from the field in the second half for the comeback win... Jamie Van Kirk led NDSU with 15 points, followed by Dani DeGagne and Katie Birkel with 13 points each... Birkel leads the Bison in scoring at 14.3 points with DeGagne at 13.1 ppg. They also rank 1-2 in assists with 69 and 66, respectively... Marena Whittle leads in rebounds at 7.4 with DeGagne next at 6.7... The Leathernecks are tied with the Bison in the Summit League loss column, with Western having six games remaining and four for NDSU.