Jan. 31, 1998
Northwestern to Visit No. 18 Wisconsin
Northwestern Wildcats (6-16, 1-9 Big Ten)
at #18 Wisconsin Badgers (16-6, 5-5 Big Ten)
Feb. 1, 1998 - Madison, Wis.
4 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
TV: Fox Sports Chicago
Northwestern travels to Madison, Wis., on Sunday for the first of three-straight games to be televised on Fox Sports Chicago as part of the Big Ten television package. The Wildcats are coming off a tough 77-70 loss at home Friday night to Penn State.
NU opened an 11-2 lead early before Penn State was able to get their offense going. The 'Cats led most of the first half, with PSU taking their first lead at 28-27 with 2:41 left in the period. The Lady Lions held a 31-28 halftime advantage. Both teams put on an excellent overall shooting display in the second half, as NU shot .567 in the second half while Penn State shot .565. A 13-2 Wildcat run early in the second half gave NU a 10 point lead at 49-39 with 14:31 left in the game. Again the Lady Lions came back, taking the lead for good at 63-61 with 4:43 remaining. Kristina Divjak led all scorers with 29 points, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Sophomore Leslie Schock, after earning back her starting job, notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Record vs. Wisconsin
This will be the 38th meeting between NU and Wisconsin, with the Wildcats holding a 27-10 edge. UW won this season's first meeting in Evanston, 70-65.
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 409-232 overall mark and a 234-161 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 entered the weekend atop the Big Ten Conference and 17th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. She also leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA in three pointers made (2.8 pg).
In all, Divjak ranks among the top 10 in six of the 10 Big Ten individual stat categories. She also is fifth in three-point percentage (.393), fifth in defensive rebounding (4.9 pg), sixth in free throw percentage (.833) and sixth in blocked shots (0.9 pg).
Entering Sunday's Wisconsin game, Divjak has led the 'Cats in scoring 19 of the season's 22 games, including a season-high 32 points against Loyola-Chicago. She has topped the 20-point mark in 11 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 Wisconsin game with 192 career three-point field goals made, second on NU's all-time list. She needs just eight 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), Katie Voigt (UW, 209), Kris McGrade (IU, 205), Marcie Alberts (OSU, 204).
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 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals 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 hit 22-straight free throws earlier this season.
DeWall Leads the Big Ten in Assists
Senior point guard Amber DeWall entered the weekend leading the Big Ten and ranked 15th in the NCAA in assists, averaging 6.5 per contest. In Big Ten games only, she leads the conference with 6.7 assists per game. DeWall also entered the weekend leading the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.92-to-1 (136:71) and with a 2.40-to-1 (60:25) ratio in Big Ten play.
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 and at Michigan State were career-bests, while her 12 assists vs. Minnesota tied her career high.
She enters the Wisconsin game with 475 career assists, moving her ahead of Laura Wiesen (474) into third place on the all-time NU assist chart. Moira Kennelly is in second with 546.
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.
Where They Rank
Here's where NU ranked statistically as of Jan. 27:
Individual - All Games
Scoring Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 17th NCAA) 21.1 ppg
Megan Chawansky (11th Big Ten) 15.0 ppg
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (1st Big Ten, 9th NCAA) 2.81 tpg
Assists Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten, 15th NCAA) 6.5 apg
Asst./ Amber DeWall (1st Big Ten) 1.92-to-1
3pt% Kristina Divjak (5th Big Ten) .393
D. Reb. Kristina Divjak (5th Big Ten) 4.9 drpg
Amber DeWall (7th Big Ten) 4.7 drpg
FT% Kristina Divjak (6th Big Ten) .833
Blocks Kristina Divjak (6th Big Ten) 0.9 bpg
Asst/TO Ratio 1st Big Ten 0.99-to-1
3pt/game 2nd Big Ten 5.5 tpg
Assists 4th Big Ten 15.6 apg
FT% 4th Big Ten .686
3pt% 5th Big Ten .344
Individual - Big Ten Games Only
A/TO ratio Amber DeWall (1st) 2.40-to-1
Assists Amber DeWall (1st) 6.7 apg
3pt/gm. Kristina Divjak (t2nd) 2.6 tpg
Def. Reb. Kristina Divjak (4th) 5.6 drpg
Scoring Kristina Divjak (4th) 17.8 ppg
Megan Chawansky (11th) 15.6 ppg
Blocks Kristina Divjak (5th) 1.1 bpg
FT% Kristina Divjak (t6th) .846
Steals Amber DeWall (t6th) 2.2 spg
3pt% Kristina Divjak (t7th) .377
Team - Big Ten Games Only
Asst./TO 1st (0.94-to-1)
3pt/game 2nd (5.9 tpg)
FT% 4th (.701)
Assist t4th (14.7 apg)
3pt% 5th (.344)
TO margin 5th (+0.89)
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
6. Amy Prichard (1,533) 1. Nancy Kennelly (892)
7. Patricia Babcock (1,353) 2. Moira Kennelly (546)
8. Kristina Divjak (1,346) 3. Amber DeWall (475)
11. Wiesen/Cole (1,206)
12. Megan Chawansky (1,130)
Career Three-Pointers Made Career Three-Point Attempts
1. Michele Ratay (244) 2. Moira Kennelly (454)
2. Kristina Divjak (192) 3. Kristina Divjak (453)
5. Megan Chawansky (92) 5. Megan Chawansky (264)
Career Free Throws Made Career Free Throw Attempts
6. Julie Calahan (337) 8. Patricia Babcock (432)
7. Megan Chawansky (276) 9. Megan Chawansky (418)
Career Blocked Shots
9. Laura Arnold (42)
10. Kristina Divjak (41)
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.
Wildcat Probable Starters
Pos. Name (height, class, hometown) ppg rpg apg
F #35 Kristina Divjak (6-0, Jr., Dyer, Ind.) 21.5 6.0 1.6
F #21 Leslie Schock (6-0, So., Elgin, Ill.) 5.6 4.2 0.8
C #54 Mary Connolly (6-3, Sr (5)., Chicago, Ill.) 5.6 4.2 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) 14.5 5.8 3.2
Off the bench
G #5 Dana Leonard (5-6, Fr., Glenview, Ill.) 5.5 1.2 0.9
G #11 Lisa Byington (5-6, Sr., Portage, Mich.) 1.2 0.6 0.6
F #20 Chala Holland (6-1, Fr., Ardmore, Pa.) 1.7 1.4 0.0
G #22 Clarissa Flores (5-8, Fr., Chicago, Ill.) 4.2 1.7 0.8
G/F #32 Candace Wrenn (5-9, Sr., Austin, Texas) 1.1 0.6 0.2
C #52 Leah Berki (6-1, So., Willowbrook, Ill.) 2.1 2.2 0.4
NU earned the 14th-highest GPA in the country last year, and was the only Big Ten school among the top 25, with a team GPA of 3.267. The 'Cats were one of six teams from last year's NCAA tournament on the list: Oregon (fourth), Toledo (fifth), Maine (seventh), Kansas State (eighth) and Harvard (15th).
Here's the preseason accolades garnered by the Wildcats:
Street and Smith's
Women's Basketball News Service
Megan Chawansky - Second-team All-American
Kristina Divjak - Third-team All-American
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: Feb. 6 (Ohio State), Feb. 8 (Iowa), Feb. 13 (Indiana), Feb. 15 (at Michigan), Feb. 27-March 2 (at Big Ten Tournament).