Tipoff: 1 p.m. Saturday at NIU’s Convocation Center in DeKalb
Records: NIU, 4-9, 0-2 in Mid-American Conference; Toledo, 6-7, 1-1 in MAC
All-time series: NIU trails the all-time series, 36-17. The Huskies split the series last year, winning, 54-52, at home and losing, 63-54, on the road.
Who to watch: The Rockets mount a balanced scoring attack, with five players averaging at least 7.5 points a game but no Rocket scoring more than 11.5 a game. Mariella Santucci scored 20 in a loss to Western Michigan but was held to seven points in a win over Buffalo. Santucci grabs a team-high 6.6 rebounds a game, despite being 5-foot-8. NIU guard Myia Starks must be more consistent getting the Huskies in the flow of their offense after a sloppy game against Miami. Starks is averaging 7.6 points a game.
The lowdown: The Huskies enter on a four-game losing streak and turned over the ball 25 times in a loss Wednesday at Miami. Freshman Chelby Koker is the only player to score in double figures each of the past two games, scoring 10 in each of NIU’s two losses to start MAC play.
Key to the game: Control possession and take advantage of fast breaks and Toledo turnovers. NIU is last in the MAC in assist-to-turnover ratio, tallying 156 assists and 227 turnovers this season. Toledo also averages more turnovers than assists. NIU’s 12 assists a game is 10th out of 12 teams in the MAC. The Rockets don’t take the ball away much, collecting a MAC-low 6.2 steals a game.