NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Dec. 14, 1997

    Northwestern Wildcats (3-6)

    Upcoming Games:

    at Southwest Texas State (0-5) Dec. 16, 1997 - 7 p.m. CST - WNUR Radio

    at Texas Longhorns (2-4) Dec. 18, 1997 - 7 p.m. CST - WNUR Radio

    The Wildcats head to the Lone Star State to face Southwest Texas State and the University of Texas this week. NU enters the trip with a 3-6 overall mark, coming off an overtime loss at home to St. Bonaventure.

    After the NU-UT matchup, the Wildcats will not play again until Jan. 2, when they host Michigan in Welsh-Ryan Arena. Both games of the Texas swing will be broadcast by WNUR 89.3 FM, the Northwestern student-operated radio station.

    This week's games also mark a homecoming for NU senior guard and Austin native Candace Wrenn, who was a two-time high school All-American at Stephen F. Austin High School.

    Record vs. Opponents NU and Southwest Texas State have never faced each other. The Cats and Longhorns have played just once, with UT coming away with an 82-75 in Austin on Dec. 15, 1991.

    Head Coach Don Perrelli Don Perrelli (Southern Connecticut State, 1961) is in his 14th season at the helm of the Wildcats and 22nd as a collegiate head coach. He has compiled a 407-221 overall mark and a 232-150 record with the Wildcats. NU has advanced to postseason six times during Perrellis tenure.

    Wildcat Probable Starters
    Pos.    Name            (height, class, hometown)         ppg   rpg  apg
    F   #35 Kristina Divjak (6-0,  Jr.,  Dyer, Ind.)          22.9  4.9  1.6
    F   #21 Leslie Schock   (6-0,  So., Elgin, Ill.)           6.1  3.9  0.9
    C   #54 Mary Connolly   (6-3,  Sr (5)., Chicago, Ill.)     5.3  4.8  0.7
    G   #20 Amber DeWall    (5-9,  Sr., St. Louis Park, MN .) 10.4  6.2  6.2
    G   #24 Megan Chawansky (5-11, Jr., Avon Lake, Ohio)       3.7  6.1  4.0
    Off the bench
    G   #5 Dana Leonard     (5-6, Fr., Glenview, Ill.)         3.0  0.6  0.6
    G   #11 Lisa Byington   (5-6, Sr., Portage, Mich.)         1.3  0.5  0.5
    F   #20 Chala Holland   (6-1, Fr., Ardmore, Pa.)           2.0  3.0  0.0
    G   #22 Clarissa Flores (5-8, Fr., Chicago, Ill.)          4.7  1.4  0.4
    G/F #32 Candace Wrenn   (5-9, Sr., Austin, Texas)          0.8  0.6  0.2
    

    Divjak Leads the Big Ten in Scoring All-America candidate Kristina Divjak currently leads the Big Ten Conference and ranks 17th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game.

    Last month, she became just the 15th player in school history to record 1,000 career points. Divjak currently ranks 14th on the all-time NU scoring chart with 1,080 career points, two behind Mya Whitmore for 13th place.

    Divjak reached the 1,000 career point mark in her 69th career game, the fourth-fastest to do so in school history. Only Michele Savage (57th game), Anucha Browne (61) and Maureen Holohan (65) hit the century mark faster at NU.

    Divjak has led the Cats in scoring all nine games this season, including a season-high 30 points against Clemson. She has topped the 20-point mark in six of those nine contests.

    Megan Chawansky - The Total Package Preseason All-American guard Megan Chawansky may not be flashy, but she definitely has one of the most well-rounded games in the Big Ten.

    Last year, Chawansky was one of only two players in the Big Ten to average 15.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The other was Illinois Ashley Berggren, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year.

    This season, despite a slow start, Megan continues to display an all-around game with 13.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Heres her game-by-game stats from the last five games:

    Opponent              Pts. Reb.    Asst.Stl.
    Marquette             10   9         6   1
    @ W. Kentucky         11   5         3   1
    @ SW Missouri State   14   9         4   1
    Eastern Illinois      15   7         6   1
    St. Bonaventure       14  11         4   0
    

    DeWall Leads the Big Ten in Assists Senior point guard Amber DeWall currently leads the Big Ten and ranks 24th in the NCAA in assists, averaging 6.2 per contest. Last year, she was second in the conference and 11th nationally with 6.6 apg.

    DeWall has improved her overall play since last season, currently leading NU with 6.2 rebounds per game and third on the team with 10.4 points per game. Her 15 points in the win over Southern Illinois was a career-best.

    DeWall currently owns 392 career assists, good for fifth place on the all-time NU assist chart. Connie Erickson is in fourth place at 448.

    Where They Rank Here's where NU ranks statistically as of Dec. 11:
    Individual Scoring
    Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 17th NCAA) 22.9 ppg
    Megan Chawansky (17th Big Ten) 13.7 ppg
    3pt% Kristina Divjak (3rd Big Ten) .375
    Assists Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten, 24th NCAA) 6.2 apg
    3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (2nd Big Ten) 2.67 tpg
    Asst./ Amber DeWall (5th Big Ten) 1.51-to-1
    TO ratio Megan Chawansky (t6th Big Ten) 1.50-to-1
    Team Asst/TO Ratio 1st Big Ten 1.01-to-1
    3pt/game 3rd Big Ten 5.33 tpg
    3pt % 4th Big Ten .350

    Big Ten Tournament Reminder The fifth-annual Big Ten Womens Basketball Postseason Tournament will be held Feb. 27-March 2, 1998, at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis. Tickets may be purchased through the Wildcat ticket office at (847) 491-CATS.

    Also, due to a convention in downtown Indy occurring simultaneous to the tournament, fans and media should secure hotel reservations as soon as possible. Three hotels recommended by the Big Ten Conference are:

    (1) Omni Severin - (800) THE-OMNI or (317) 634-6664
    (2) Comfort Inn - (800) 228-5150 or (317) 631-9000
    (3) Courtyard by Marriott - (800) 321-2211 or (317) 635-4443

    Now That's a Tough Schedule The Wildcats first nine contests could easily rank as one of the toughest in the nation. Five of NUs first nine opponents (Clemson, UConn, Western Kentucky twice, Southwest Missouri State) went to the NCAA Tournament. This year, only one of NUs nine opponents (Eastern Illinois) has a sub-.500 record. NU will face a total of 23 schools this season. Seventeen of those teams had a winning record last year and 10 of them went to the NCAA Tournament.

    Divjak Named to NIT All-Tournament Team Forward Kristina Divjak was named to the all-tournament team at the Preseason NIT. In NUs four contests, Divjak averaged 22.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. In addition, she averaged 2.5 three pointers made per game. Divjak led all players in scoring during the tournament with 88 points. UConn All-American Nykesha Sales had 86 points, followed by Nebraskas Anna DeForge with 80 points.

    All-Time NU Record Book Watch
    Career Points                   Career Assists      
    13.  Mya Whitmore (1,082)       3.  Laura Wiesen (474)
    14.  Kristina Divjak (1,080)    4.  Connie Erickson (448)
         Megan Chawansky (944)      5.  Amber DeWall (392)
    Career Three-Pointers Made      Career Three-Point Attempts
    2.  Moira Kennelly (173)        2.  Moira Kennelly (454)
    3.  Kristina Divjak (154)       3.  Kristina Divjak (368)
    5.  Megan Chawansky (77)        5.  Megan Chawansky (217)
    

    Smart Cats The Wildcats earned the 14th-highest grade point average last year among all NCAA Division I womens basketball teams. NU was the only Big Ten school ranked among the top 25 academically, with a team GPA of 3.267. The Cats were one of six teams from last years NCAA tournament to make the WBCA Honor Roll. The others were Oregon (fourth), Toledo (fifth), Maine (seventh), Kansas State (eighth) and Harvard (15th).

    Winningest Program in the Big Ten Northwestern has averaged more wins per season than any other team in the Big Ten Conference. In their 22 previous seasons, the Cats had 394 wins, an average of 17.9 wins per year.

        
        Most Wins (Years)           Most Wins Per Year
        Ohio State, 543 (32)        Northwestern (17.9)
        Penn State, 523 (33)        Iowa (17.3)
        Indiana, 412 (26)           Ohio State (16.9)
        Iowa, 399 (23)              Purdue (15.9)
        Northwestern, 394 (22)      Penn State (15.8)

    Promotions List Fri., Jan. 16 vs. Wisconsin - Pack the Place Night 7 p.m. tipoff - A new attendance record could be set when the Cats take on the Badgers. All seats for this game (reserved and general admission) are just $1.

    Fri., Feb. 6 vs. Ohio State - Take a Girl to the Game Day 7:30 p.m. tipoff - All kids will be admitted free for this game as, for the third-straight year, Northwestern takes part in National Take a Girl to the Game Day. Last year, 75 college campuses and more than 250,000 people took part nationwide.

    Preseason Honors Here's the preseason accolades garnered by the Wildcats: Womens Basketball News Service Megan Chawansky - Second-team All-American Kristina Divjak - Third-team All-American

    Street and Smith's Kristina Divjak - Honorable mention All-American National Ranking - Best of the Rest

    The Sporting News Kristina Divjak - Best Shooter in the Big Ten

    WNUR Radio- The Official Carrier of NU Womens Hoops 21 games are currently scheduled to be broadcast this season by WNUR 89.3 FM, the Northwestern student-operated station. The remaining schedule is as follows: Jan. 7 (at Loyola-Chicago), Jan. 9 (at Iowa), Jan. 13 (Purdue), Jan. 16 (Wiscon-sin), Jan. 18 (Minnesota), Jan. 23 (at Illinois), Jan. 30 (Penn State), Feb. 1 (at Wisconsin), Feb. 6 (Ohio State), Feb. 8 (Iowa), Feb. 10 (DePaul), Feb. 13 (Indiana), Feb. 15 (at Michigan), Feb. 20 (at Purdue), Feb. 27-March 2 (at Big Ten Tournament).

    NU Breaks All-Time Attendance Records The Wildcats set new school records in attendance last year as a total of 17,672 fans attended games in Welsh-Ryan Arena during the 1996-97 season. The previous record was 17,637, set last season. A new record for average attendance also was set last year, with an average of 1,473 per game. This easily outdistances the old mark of 1,260 set during the 1995-96 campaign.

    Wildcats' women's basketball attendance in the 1990's continues to rise. Check out the following comparison:

                        1000+       Home
        Year    Attend. Avg.       crowds    Dates
        1991-92 11,073  791         2         14
        1992-93 15,194  1,169      10         13
        1993-94 14,435  1,031       7         14
        1994-95 15,269  1,175       7         13
        1995-96 17,637  1,260       8         14
        1996-97 17,672  1,473       9         12