Jan. 22, 1998
Northwestern to Play No. 6 Illinois, Michigan St.
Northwestern Wildcats (6-13, 1-6 Big Ten)
at #6 Illinois Fighting Illini (13-5, 7-1 Big Ten)
Jan. 23, 1998 - Champaign, Ill.
7:30 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
at Michigan State Spartans (7-10, 1-6 Big Ten)
Jan. 25, 1998 - East Lansing, Mich.
1 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
Friday's contest against Illinois closes out the first half of the Big Ten season for the Wildcats. Sunday's contest at Michigan State will be televised live within the greater Lansing area by MediaOne. NU finally earned its first Big Ten win of the season against the Gophers. The game was close through much of the first half, but a 17-4 run by NU late in the first half put the game safely in the 'Cats hands. The lead was 28 points before NU cleared the bench with seven minutes left. Chawansky added 18 points, five boards, four assists and three blocks. Leonard scored 14 points off the bench. The 'Cats shot 10-of-18 from beyond the arc.
Wildcat Probable Starters
Pos. Name (height, class, hometown) ppg rpg apg
F #35 Kristina Divjak (6-0, Jr., Dyer, Ind.) 21.8 6.1 1.7
G #22 Clarissa Flores (5-8, Fr., Chicago, Ill.) 4.5 1.8 0.9
C #54 Mary Connolly (6-3, Sr (5)., Chicago, Ill.) 6.0 4.1 0.8
G #20 Amber DeWall (5-9, Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) 9.6 5.7 6.3
G #24 Megan Chawansky (5-11, Jr., Avon Lake, Ohio) 15.0 5.7 3.5
Off the bench
G #5 Dana Leonard (5-6, Fr., Glenview, Ill.) 4.8 1.2 0.9
G #11 Lisa Byington (5-6, Sr., Portage, Mich.) 1.4 0.4 0.5
F #20 Chala Holland (6-1, Fr., Ardmore, Pa.) 2.0 1.7 0.0
F #21 Leslie Schock (6-0, So., Elgin, Ill.) 5.5 4.0 0.7
G/F #32 Candace Wrenn (5-9, Sr., Austin, Texas) 1.2 0.7 0.3
C #52 Leah Berki (6-1, So., Willowbrook, Ill.) 1.9 2.4 0.4
Record vs. Illini and Spartans
NU holds a 30-8 lead in the series against the Illini and a 20-15 all-time edge over the Spartans. UI defeated NU last year in Welsh-Ryan Arena, 80-79, while the 'Cats won two years ago in Huff Hall, 89-79. The Spartans won last year's lone meeting in Welsh-Ryan Arena, 88-77.
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 409-229 overall mark and a 234-158 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 enters the weekend atop the Big Ten Conference and tied for 14th in the NCAA in scoring (with Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw), averaging 21.8 points per game. She also leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the NCAA in three pointers made (2.95 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 (.415), fourth in defensive rebounding (4.8 pg), seventh in free throw percentage (.822) and eighth in blocked shots (0.8 pg).
Divjak has now led the 'Cats in scoring 17 of the season's 19 games, including a season-high 32 points against Loyola-Chicago. She has topped the 20-point mark in 10 contests and is one of only two Big Ten players (Indiana's Quacy Barnes) to score in double figures every game. See the attached flyer for more info. on Divjak.
The 200 Club
Kristina Divjak enters the weekend with 186 career three-point field goals made, second on NU's all-time list. She needs just 14 more treys to become just the sixth player in Big Ten history to hit 200 three-pointers. The other five: Michele Ratay (NU, 244); Katie Smith (OSU, 218), Kris McGrade (IU, 205), Marcie Alberts (OSU, 204), Katie Voigt (UW, 200).
The 400 Club
The 'Cats win over Minnesota was the 400th in school history. Only four other Big Ten schools (OSU, PSU, Indiana, Iowa) have 400 all-time wins. NU is now 400-229 all-time.
Chawansky Tops Century and Big Ten Marks
She may not be flashy, but junior guard Megan Chawansky has one of the best all-around games in the Big Ten, averaging 15.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Earlier this season, she became the 16th player in NU history to reach 1,000 career points. On Jan. 11 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 tied for the second-best performance in the NCAA this year. Chawansky had her streak of 22-consecutive made free throws snapped vs. UW.
DeWall Leads the Big Ten in Assists
Senior point guard Amber DeWall enters the weekend leading the Big Ten and ranked 20th in the NCAA in assists, averaging 6.3 per contest.
DeWall has improved her overall play since last season, averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Her 16 points at SW Texas State was a career-best, while her 12 assists vs. Minnesota tied her career high. She leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.90-to-1 (120:63), with a 2.59-to-1 (44:17) ration in Big Ten play. DeWall enters the weekend with 456 career assists, good for fourth place on the all-time NU assist chart. Laura Wiesen is in third place at 474.
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.
Where They Rank
Here's where NU ranks statistically as of Jan. 19:
Individual - All Games
Scoring Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, t14th NCAA) 21.8 ppg
Megan Chawansky (11th Big Ten) 15.0 ppg
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 7th NCAA) 2.95 tpg
3pt% Kristina Divjak (2nd Big Ten) .415
Assists Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten, 20th NCAA) 6.3 apg
Asst./ Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten) 1.90-to-1
Blocks Kristina Divjak (8th Big Ten) 0.8 bpg
D. Reb. Kristina Divjak (4th Big Ten) 4.8 drpg
Amber DeWall (10th Big Ten) 4.5 drpg
Asst/TO Ratio 1st Big Ten 1.01-to-1
3pt/game 2nd Big Ten 5.5 tpg
Assists 3rd Big Ten 16.1 apg
3pt% 3rd Big Ten .355
FT% 5th Big Ten .672
Individual - Big Ten Games Only
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (1st) 2.9 tpg
A/TO ratio Amber DeWall (1st) 2.59-to-1
Assists Amber DeWall (2nd) 6.3 apg
Def. Reb. Kristina Divjak (5th) 5.6 drpg
3pt% Kristina Divjak (5th) .435
Scoring Kristina Divjak (5th) 18.7 ppg
Megan Chawansky (12th) 15.9 ppg
Blocks Kristina Divjak (6th) 1.0 bpg
FT% Kristina Divjak (10th) .818
Team - Big Ten Games Only
Asst./TO 1st (0.98-to-1)
3pt/game 2nd (6.0 tpg)
3pt% offense 3rd (.372)
3pt% defense 4th (.325)
Assist 4th (15.9 apg)
NU Sets All-Time Attendance Record
The Wildcats set a school single-game attendance record on Jan. 16, when 3,665 fans attended the NU-Wisconsin game in Welsh-Ryan Arena. The old mark of 3,416 was set in 1995 against Iowa. NU needs to average 1,211 fans per game over its final six home contests to break the school single-season mark of 17,672 set last year.
All-Time NU Record Book Watch
Career Points Career Assists
9. Katrina Hannaford (1,323) 2. Moira Kennelly (546)
10. Kristina Divjak (1,288) 3. Laura Wiesen (474)
13. Nancy Kennelly (1,103) 4. Amber DeWall (456)
14. Megan Chawansky (1,095)
Career Three-Pointers Made Career Three-Point Attempts
1. Michele Ratay (244) 2. Moira Kennelly (454)
2. Kristina Divjak (186) 3. Kristina Divjak (434)
5. Megan Chawansky (87) 5. Megan Chawansky (246)
Career Free Throws Made Career Free Throw Attempts
8. Maureen Holohan (272) 9. Christina Braden (411)
9. Megan Chawansky (268) 10. Megan Chawansky (407)
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"
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. 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).