NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    January 3, 1998

    Women's Hoops Looks to Rebound at Indiana

    Cats and Hoosiers Battle on Sunday Afternoon

    Northwestern Wildcats (4-8, 0-1 Big Ten)
    at
    Indiana Hoosiers (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten)
    Sunday January 4th, 1998 - 1 p.m. CST

    The Wildcats hit the road for the first of four-straight contests away from Welsh-Ryan Arena, beginning with Sunday's matchup at Indiana. Northwestern is coming off a 77-69 loss Friday at home to Michigan. The 'Cats and Wolverines battled tough early, with NU holding a 25-23 lead with 7:21 left in the first half. However, a 19-0 Michigan run over the next 5:26 gave UM a 42-25 lead. Freshman Dana Leonard made two three-pointers in the final 1:55 to close the gap to 15 points at intermission. NU battled throughout the second half, but never got within five points as Michigan earned the victory. Leonard's 15 points off the bench led the Wildcats, followed by 14 apiece for Megan Chawansky and Kristina Divjak. Divjak also added a career-high five steals along with three assists and three blocks in the game. Amber DeWall led NU with a career-high 11 rebounds.

    Record vs. Indiana

    This will mark the 40th all-time meeting between Northwestern and Indiana, with the Wildcats holding a 23-16 advantage. The Wildcats swept the series last season, winning 81-78 in Evanston and 88-75 in Bloomington.

    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 407-224 overall mark and a 232-153 record with the Wildcats. NU has advanced to postseason six times during Perrelli's tenure.

    Divjak Leads the Big Ten in Scoring

    All-America candidate Kristina Divjak currently leads the Big Ten Conference and ranks 11th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 22.1 points per game. She also entered the week atop the Big Ten in three pointers made and three-point percentage. Not to be forgotten, as well, is the fact Divjak also ranks among the Big Ten leaders in blocked shots.

    Divjak led the 'Cats in scoring the first 11 games of the season, including a season-high 30 points against Clemson. She has topped the 20-point mark in seven 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 (Illinois' Ashley Berggren).

    This season, despite a slow start, Megan continues to display an all-around game with 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Here's her game-by-game stats from the last five games:

    Opponent           Pts. Reb.  Asst.     Stl.
    Eastern Illinois    15    7      6        1
    St. Bonaventure     14   11      4        0
    @ SW Texas State    15    8      2        2 
    @ Texas             23    8      5        2
    Michigan            14    6      2        0
    

    DeWall Leads the Big Ten in Assists

    Senior point guard Amber DeWall entered the weekend leading the Big Ten 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 the team with 6.7 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. She also ranks third in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.58-to-1 (68:43). DeWall currently owns 408 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 (Big Ten as of Jan. 2, NCAA as of Dec. 15):
    Individual Scoring
    Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 11th NCAA)    22.8 ppg
    Megan Chawansky (13th Big Ten)              14.6 ppg
    3pt%
    Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten)                   .392
    3pt/gm. 
    Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten)               2.82 tpg
    Assists 
    Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten)                   6.2 apg
    Asst./  
    Amber DeWall (3rd Big Ten)        1.58-to-1 TO ratio    
    Megan Chawansky (4th Big Ten)     1.54-to-1 TO ratio
    Blocks  
    Kristina Divjak (t10th Big Ten)              0.6 bpg
    

    Team Asst/TO Ratio 1st Big Ten 1.01-to-1 3pt/game 2nd Big Ten 5.27 tpg 3pt % 4th Big Ten .345 Assists 5th Big Ten 16.00 apg Scoring Offense 6th Big Ten 73.8 ppg FT Pct. 6th Big Ten .664

    Divjak Named to NIT All-Tournament Team

    Forward Kristina Divjak was named to the all-tournament team at the Preseason NIT. In NU's 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 Nebraska's Anna DeForge with 80 points.

    All-Time NU Record Book Watch

    Career Points                   Career Assists      
    t10.  Cole/Wiesen (1,206)       3.  Laura Wiesen (474)
    12.  Kristina Divjak (1,139)    4.  Connie Erickson (448)
    Megan Chawansky (985)           5.  Amber DeWall (408)
    Career Three-Pointers Made      Career Three-Point Attempts
    2.  Moira Kennelly (173)        2.  Moira Kennelly (454)
    3.  Kristina Divjak (163)       3.  Kristina Divjak (390)
    5.  Megan Chawansky (80)        5.  Megan Chawansky (229)
    

    Smart 'Cats

    The Wildcats earned the 14th-highest grade point average last year among all NCAA Division I women's 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 year's NCAA tournament to make the WBCA Honor Roll. The others were Oregon (fourth), Toledo (fifth), Maine (seventh), Kansas State (eighth) and Harvard (15th).

    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:
    Women's 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 Women's Hoops

    21 games are scheduled to be broadcast this season by WNUR 89.3 FM, the Northwestern student station. The remaining schedule is as follows: Jan. 7 (at Loyola-Chicago), Jan. 11 (at Ohio State), Jan. 13 (Purdue), Jan. 16 (Wisconsin), 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).