NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    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
    TV: MediaOne

    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
    TO ratio    
    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
    Team
    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.

    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).

    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. 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).