Feb. 5, 1998
Northwestern vs. Iowa/Ohio State Preview
Northwestern Wildcats (6-17, 1-10 Big Ten)
vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (13-7, 6-5 Big Ten)
Feb. 6, 1998 - Welsh-Ryan Arena
7:30 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
TV: Fox Sports Chicago
vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (10-9, 7-3 Big Ten)
Feb. 8, 1998 - Welsh-Ryan Arena
4 p.m. CST - WNUR 89.3 FM Radio
TV: Fox Sports Chicago
The Wildcats host Ohio State on Friday night in the first of four-straight home games for NU. The 'Cats will play five of their final seven regular season contests in Welsh-Ryan Arena. Friday night also is "Take a Kid to the Game Day," with all kids 18-and-under admitted free.
On Sunday, all fans attending the men's hoops noon contest in Welsh-Ryan Arena against Penn State will be admitted free to the 4 p.m. women's game against Iowa.
NU is coming off a 95-64 loss at No. 18 Wisconsin last Sunday. The game was tight for the first 15 minutes, as UW held a slim 30-29 lead with 4:49 left in the first half. However, the Badgers closed with a 18-4 run to take a 48-33 lead into the locker room, and opened the second half with another 18-4 run to put the game out of reach. All-America candidate Kristina Divjak continued to sparkle, notching a team-high 21 points in addition to five rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot. Megan Chawansky poured in 20 points, including four three pointers, and a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Dana Leonard, making her first collegiate start, scored seven points with five assists and two steals.
Record vs. Ohio State and Iowa
Friday will mark the 32nd meeting between NU and Ohio State, with the Buckeyes holding an 18-13 edge. OSU won the season's first meeting in Columbus, 81-64.
Sunday is the 34th all-time meeting between Iowa and NU, with the Hawkeyes owning a 24-9 series lead. Iowa knocked off NU earlier this year in Iowa City, 65-58.
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 409-233 overall mark and a 234-162 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 continues to lead the Big Ten Conference and 16th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 21.4 points per game. She also leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the NCAA in three pointers made (2.8 pg).
In all, Divjak ranks among the conference leaders in six of the 10 Big Ten individual stat categories. She also is fourth in three-point percentage (.409), fifth in free throw percentage (.837), sixth in defensive rebounding (4.7 pg) and sixth in blocked shots (0.9 pg). Divjak is the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top six in six different categories.
Divjak has led the 'Cats in scoring 20 of the season's 23 games, including a season-high 32 points against Loyola-Chicago. She has topped the 20-point mark in 12 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 Ohio State game with 195 career three-point field goals made, second on NU's all-time list. She needs just five 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, 214), Kris McGrade (IU, 205), Marcie Alberts (OSU, 204).
DeWall Leads the Big Ten in Assists
Senior point guard Amber DeWall leads the Big Ten and is 18th in the NCAA in assists, averaging 6.3 per contest. In Big Ten games only, she also leads the conference with 6.3 assists per game. DeWall also leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.88-to-1 (139:74) and is second in conference games only with a 2.25-to-1 (63:28) 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 Ohio State game with 475 career assists, third on the all-time NU assist chart. Moira Kennelly is in second with 546.
Chawansky Simply Getting the Job Done
She may not be flashy, but junior guard Megan Chawansky has one of the best all-around games in the Big Ten, averaging 14.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Chawansky's 14.8 ppg ranks 11th in the Big Ten.
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.
Wildcat Probable Starters
Pos. Name (height, class, hometown) ppg rpg apg
F #35 Kristina Divjak (6-0, Jr., Dyer, Ind.) 21.4 6.0 1.6
F #21 Leslie Schock (6-0, So., Elgin, Ill.) 5.4 4.4 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) 14.8 5.9 3.3
Off the bench
G #5 Dana Leonard (5-6, Fr., Glenview, Ill.) 5.6 1.2 1.0
F #20 Chala Holland (6-1, Fr., Ardmore, Pa.) 1.8 1.5 0.0
G #22 Clarissa Flores (5-8, Fr., Chicago, Ill.) 4.1 1.7 0.7
G/F #32 Candace Wrenn (5-9, Sr., Austin, Texas) 1.1 0.6 0.4
F #33 Anne Giblin (6-0, Jr., Upper Montclair, NJ) 6.3 4.3 1.8
C #52 Leah Berki (6-1, So., Willowbrook, Ill.) 1.9 2.1 0.4
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. 13 (Indiana), Feb. 15 (at Michigan), Feb. 27-March 2 (at Big Ten Tournament).
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 1,269 fans per game over its final five home contests to break the school single-season mark of 17,672 set last year.
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.
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).