FACING THE HUSKIES, PART ONE: Three weeks ago, Seattle University only knew that it would be playing a road game somewhere in the United States. Saturday, Northern Illinois is the opposition for the Redhawks in a game that begins at 3 p.m. local time (1 p.m. Pacific time). Dave Grosby and Gary Hill, Jr., will be broadcasting the game live on 710 ESPN Seattle. Both teams need a win, with Seattle U having lost five of its last seven games and Northern Illinois currently on a six-game losing streak.
THE UC DAVIS GAME: Seattle University held the lead early, but consistent shooting by UC Davis allowed the Aggies to come back for an 88-78 victory over the Redhawks Tuesday night at KeyArena at Seattle Center. Seattle U held as much as a 12-point lead at 36-24 with 5:48 left in the first half before UC Davis scored six straight points to cut the lead in half. Cervante Burrell scored four points late in the half to help the Redhawks extend their advantage back to eight, but a desperation three-pointer from about 45 feet out by Joe Harden as time expired pulled the Aggies to within five (45-40) at halftime. After Sterling Carter started the second half with a layup, UC Davis went on a 9-2 scoring run, with Eddie Miller hitting a three-pointer to bring the game to a 49-49 tie. A traditional three-point play by Alex Jones allowed Seattle U to retake the lead, and the two squads traded baskets for the next minute-and-a-half. Down 56-53, UC Davis took the lead with a 16-4 scoring run over the next five-and-a-half minutes to pull ahead, 69-60, with 9:01 remaining in regulation. A three-pointer by Carter started the Redhawk comeback, as Seattle U would outscore the Aggies, 17-8, to pull into a 77-77 tie with 3:16 left in the second half on another Carter three-pointer. Mark Payne hit a layup with 2:42 left to give the Aggies the lead for good, with Seattle U turning the ball over and missing a short shot in its attempts to tie the game again. Payne started UC Davis on extending the lead with two free throws, as the Aggies went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final 1:25 to ice the game and earn the season sweep over the Redhawks. Jones led Seattle U with 20 points, while Carter finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots, and two steals.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Huskies come into Saturday's game with a 7-17 record, including a 5-6 record at the NIU Convocation Center. Northern Illinois has lost six straight games and eight of its last nine contests. The Huskies are scoring 70.7 points per game and giving up 75.6 points per contest. As a team, Northern Illinois is shooting 42.4 percent from the field, including 33.1 percent from behind the three-point line, and 70.2 percent from the free throw line. Xavier Silas, a transfer from the University of Colorado, leads the team in scoring with 23.5 points per game, currently sixth in the country. Silas has been a force at the free throw line, hitting 169 free throws (2nd in Division I) on 199 attempts (8th in Division I) for a .849 free throw shooting percentage (70th in Division I). No other Northern Illinois player is averaging in double figures in points. Tim Toler is contributing 9.0 points and a team-high 5.1 rebounds per game for the Huskies.
SEATTLE U VS. NIU AND THE MAC: This will be the first meeting all-time between Seattle U and Northern Illinois and the eighth game Seattle U will play against a current member of the Mid-American Conference. The Redhawks are 3-4 against MAC schools, with the last contest coming during the 1969-70 season, a 76-68 victory over Toledo in Seattle.
A NATIONAL SCHEDULE: With the addition of the game at Northern Illinois, Seattle University will play at least one game in every time zone in the lower 48 states during the 2010-11 season. The Redhawks started the season in the Eastern time zone at Maryland Nov. 8, plus played a second game in that time zone Dec. 22 at Virginia. Seattle U has played two games this season in the Mountain time zone: at Weber State (Dec. 4) and at Utah Valley (Jan. 13). The remaining 26 contests will take place in the Pacific time zone: 13 games in Washington (12 home games plus Dec. 15 at Eastern Washington), 11 games in California, one game in Oregon (Dec. 1 at Portland State), and one game in Idaho (March 5 at Idaho). This will be the second straight year that Seattle U has played a game in the Central time zone, as the Cameron Dollar era began Nov. 14, 2009, in Stillwater, Okla., with Seattle U's game against Oklahoma State.
FOLLOW US: There are many ways to stay up-to-date with everything that is going on in Seattle University athletics. Fans can visit the athletics website (www.GoSeattleU.com) for news, schedules, rosters, live stats, live video, on demand video, and many other things. Seattle U now has a mobile app for the iPhone - GoSeattleU - so fans can access stories, schedules, and scores with just a couple of touches of their phone. Seattle U supporters can visit the Facebook page by searching "Seattle U Athletics", or follow along on Twitter by looking for the handle "@su_athletics".