Jan. 15, 1998
Northwestern Women's Hoops to Host Wisconsin, Minnesota
Northwestern Wildcats (5-12, 0-5 Big Ten)
vs. #11 Wisconsin Badgers (12-4, 1-3 Big Ten)
Jan. 16, 1998 - Welsh-Ryan Arena
7 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-11, 1-4 Big Ten)
Jan. 18, 1998 - Welsh-Ryan Arena
2 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM
Northwestern looks to snap a three-game losing streak Friday night when the Wildcats host Wisconsin. Friday night also is "Pack the Place" night, with all seats just $1 in an attempt to set a new school single-game attendance mark. The current best of 3,416 was set in 1996 against Iowa. NU also will host Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
The 'Cats are coming off an 81-64 loss to 24th-ranked Purdue on Tuesday. NU shot just 25 percent from the field in the first half (compared to Purdue's 56 percent), but trailed by just 12 points at halftime. The Boilermakers continued their torrid shooting, hitting 62 percent in the second half en route to the victory. Kristina Divjak led NU with 17 points and six rebounds. Megan Chawansky had 16 points while Dana Leonard came off the bench for 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Complete game recaps can be found on pages five and six of the game notes.
Record vs. Badgers
This will mark the 37th all-time meeting between Northwestern and Wisconsin, with the Wildcats holding a 27-9 series edge. The teams split last year, as UW won 77-67 in Madison and NU won 93-62 in Evanston. Wisconsin is currently ranked 14th by AP and 11th in the coaches poll.
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 408-228 overall mark and a 233-157 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 13th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 21.7 points per game. She also leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the NCAA in three pointers made (2.82 pg).
In all, Divjak ranks among the top 10 in six of the 10 Big Ten individual stat categories. She also is second in three-point percentage (.400), sixth in blocked shots (0.9 pg), seventh in free throw percentage (.817) and ninth in defensive rebounds (4.6 rpg).
Divjak has led the 'Cats in scoring 15 of the season's 17 games, including a season-high 32 points against Loyola-Chicago. She has topped the 20-point mark in nine contests. See the attached flyer for more info. on Divjak.
Wildcat Probable Starters
Pos. Name (height, class, hometown) ppg rpg apg
F #35 Kristina Divjak (6-0, Jr., Dyer, Ind.) 21.7 5.8 1.8
G #22 Clarissa Flores (5-8, Fr., Chicago, Ill.) 4.3 1.9 0.9
C #54 Mary Connolly (6-3, Sr (5)., Chicago, Ill.) 6.0 4.0 0.9
G #20 Amber DeWall (5-9, Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) 10.0 5.9 5.8
G #24 Megan Chawansky (5-11, Jr., Avon Lake, Ohio) 14.7 5.6 3.6
Off the bench
G #5 Dana Leonard (5-6, Fr., Glenview, Ill.) 4.0 1.1 0.8
G #11 Lisa Byington (5-6, Sr., Portage, Mich.) 1.4 0.3 0.3
F #20 Chala Holland (6-1, Fr., Ardmore, Pa.) 1.6 1.8 0.0
F #21 Leslie Schock (6-0, So., Elgin, Ill.) 5.9 4.1 0.8
G/F #32 Candace Wrenn (5-9, Sr., Austin, Texas) 1.3 0.6 0.3
C #52 Leah Berki (6-1, So., Willowbrook, Ill.) 2.3 2.8 0.5
Chawansky Tops Century and Big Ten Marks
Last week was a milestone week for junior guard Megan Chawansky. Last Wednesday at Loyola, she became the 16th player in NU history to reach 1,000 career points. On Sunday at Ohio State, she set a Big Ten record for free throw proficiency by going 14-for-14. The previous record of 13-for-13 was held by former OSU All-American Katie Smith. The 14-for-14 also is the second-best game in the NCAA this year.
This season, Megan continues to display one of the best all-around games in the Big Ten with 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Her 14.7 ppg is 12th-best in the conference and she enters the Wisconsin contest having made 21-straight free throws over the last three contests.
DeWall Among Big Ten Assist Leaders
Senior point guard Amber DeWall is currently second in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.82 per contest. Penn State's Helen Darling is just ahead at 5.86 apg.
DeWall has improved her overall play since last season, currently leading the team with 5.9 rebounds per game and third on the team with 10.0 points per game. Her 16 points in the win at Southwest Texas State was a career-best. She also ranks second in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.74-to-1 (99:57).
DeWall currently owns 435 career assists, good for fifth place on the all-time NU assist chart. Connie Erickson is in fourth place at 448.
399 and Counting
NU's win over Loyola-Chicago was the 399th win in Northwestern women's basketball history. Only four other Big Ten schools (OSU, PSU, Indiana, Iowa) have 400 all-time wins.
Take a Kid to the Game Day
On Fri., Feb. 6, Northwestern will participate for the third-straight year in national "Take a Kid to the Game Day." All boys and girls ages 18 and under will be admitted free for the 7:30 p.m. game vs. Ohio State. The program is designed to build awareness and participation in women's athletics. Last year, 75 college campuses and more than 250,000 people took part nationwide.
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. 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).
'Cats on Television
Four NU women's hoops games will be televised over the next couple of weeks. NU's Jan. 25 game at Michigan State (1 p.m. CST) will be televised live in the Lansing area by Media One. The Wildcats also will have three games on the tube as part of the Big Ten/Fox Sports Chicago package: Feb. 1 at Wisconsin (4 p.m. CST), Feb. 6 vs. Ohio State (7:30 p.m. CST) and Feb. 8 vs. Iowa (4 p.m. CST).
Where They Rank
Here's where NU ranks statistically (Big Ten as of Jan. 14, NCAA as of Jan. 12):
Individual - All Games
Scoring Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 13th NCAA) 21.7 ppg
Megan Chawansky (12th Big Ten) 14.7 ppg
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 8th NCAA) 2.82 tpg
3pt% Kristina Divjak (t2nd Big Ten) .400
Assists Amber DeWall (2nd Big Ten) 5.8 apg
Asst./ Amber DeWall (2nd Big Ten) 1.74-to-1
Blocks Kristina Divjak (6th Big Ten) 0.9 bpg
Asst/TO Ratio 1st Big Ten 0.99-to-1
3pt/game 2nd Big Ten 5.2 tpg
Assists 4th Big Ten 15.8 apg
3pt% 5th Big Ten .344
FT% 5th Big Ten .675
Individual - Big Ten Games Only
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (3rd) 2.4 tpg
3pt% Kristina Divjak (7th) .387
Blocks Kristina Divjak (4th) 1.4 bpg
Scoring Kristina Divjak (7th) 17.2 ppg
Assists Amber DeWall (t6th) 4.6 apg
Steals Amber DeWall (t9th) 2.0 spg
Team - Big Ten Games Only
Asst./TO 1st (0.90-to-1)
3pt/game 2nd (5.2 tpg)
3pt% 5th (.342)
FT% 5th (.713)
F Anne Giblin (stress fracture, out 2-4 more weeks)
F Tami Sears (stress fracture, out 2-4 more weeks)
G Shannon McGarrigle (back, out 2-3 more weeks)
C Becky Fisher (shoulder surgery, will miss rest of season)
This season has been a busy one for NU's training staff. Tami
Sears and Shannon McGarrigle have missed the entire season,
while forward Chala Holland suffered a concussion during
preseason workouts and was out of action for three weeks. Leah
Berki is hobbled with a sprained ankle, but has played the last
three games. Six of NU's 15 players have missed at least one
game due to injury.
All-Time NU Record Book Watch
Career Points Career Assists
9. Katrina Hannaford (1,323) 3. Laura Wiesen (474)
10. Kristina Divjak (1,243) 4. Connie Erickson (448)
15. Moira Kennelly (1,064) 5. Amber DeWall (435)
16. Megan Chawansky (1,060)
Career Three-Pointers Made Career Three-Point Attempts
1. Michele Ratay (244) 2. Moira Kennelly (454)
2. Kristina Divjak (178) 3. Kristina Divjak (419)
5. Megan Chawansky (85) 5. Megan Chawansky (241)
Career Free Throws Made Career Free Throw Attempts
8. Maureen Holohan (272) 9. Christina Braden (411)
9. Megan Chawansky (259) 10. Megan Chawansky (394)
Career Blocked Shots
10. Maureen Holohan (38)
11. Kristina Divjak (37)
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.
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).
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"
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. Here's recent year-by-year numbers:
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