Women to face NIU Thursday

Coming off a 62-47 loss to Bowling Green State University Sunday, the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team is setting its sights on the Northern Illinois University Huskies, which have won the team’s last seven matchups against the Eagles.

The Eagles will need to see some different players contribute in order to beat NIU.

Natachia Watkins leads all active EMU players in scoring with 10.2 points per game. She also currently averages 28.3 minutes per game on the floor and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Watkins had 14 points in 33 minutes against Bowling Green Sunday, leading all Eagles.

Another player who is making an impact right now is India Hairston. While she only averages 8.3 PPG and 6.3 RPG, she is currently averaging 30.1 MPG on the floor and has started each of the team’s 19 games.

In the game against Bowling Green, she only scored four points in the 12 minutes played. She will need to turn that around against NIU.

The biggest story for the Eagles has been the play of freshman Bianca Cage, who stepped up to fill the void left by the dismissal of Miranda Tate and the injury to Olivia Fouty.

Cage is averaging 9.1 PPG off the bench. She has appeared in 10 games, having yet to start any, but if her play continues to improve, that may soon change.

Cage scored 15 points in 34 minutes off the bench against Bowling Green.

Satavia Taylor is currently carrying the NIU offense. Having started all 19 of her team’s games so far, she is averaging 11.8 PPG and 3.9 RPG all the while spending an average of 31.2 MPG in the game.

Taylor scored 14 points in 38 minutes Saturday in NIU’s last game against Toledo.

Another mainstay in the NIU offense is Amanda Corral, who has also started every game so far for the Huskies. She averages 13 PPG and 4.6 RPG while spending 33 MPG on the floor.

Corral scored 13 points in 36 minutes against Toledo.

Jenna Thorp is the helper on offense for NIU. She only averages 5.1 PPG and 4.1 RPG for the Huskies, but she averages 28.3 MPG on the floor and leads the team in assists with 28.

Against Toledo, Thorp gained seven points and an assist in 32 minutes.

For a team that seems to have a hard time scraping two halves together, the Eagles will have their work cut out for them against NIU.

As a team, NIU averages 57.8 PPG while the Eagles only average 55.0. The Huskies are also shooting 38.2 percent from the floor as a team, while the Eagles are only shooting 36.4 percent.

The big difference is the teams’ shooting percentage from three-point range.

The Huskies shoot 37.4 percent from long distance while the Eagles only shoot 27 percent. If the Eagles are going to beat NIU, three-point shooting is going to be key.

The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Convocation Center. If you don’t want to wait until Monday to see the results, go to www.easternecho.com for a game recap. While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the stories about the women’s basketball team and the rest of the teams at EMU.

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