Jan. 14, 2009
Final Stats |
Box Score in PDF Format
DEKALB, Ill. - Senior Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) scored seven of her team-high 15 points in overtime to spark the Northern Illinois University women's basketball team to a 71-65 victory over Western Michigan Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
"It's good to be home," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We spent most of the non-conference season on the road and we improved there. Now we have the opportunity to get in the flow at home. We came back off a five-day road trip and now we have three in a row at home and it's a chance to get that rhythm at home.
"We had a chance to get away with this game early but didn't do that. I'm very pleased with the win in MAC play, but in a couple of days, you are back at it. We got a balanced attack inside and outside, and rebounding has to be the key in that. All in all, I am pleased with the effort."
After playing to a 55-55 tie after 40-minutes of basketball, Wilcox jumped started the Huskie (7-9, 2-1) offense in the extra frame with a three-pointer in the corner off a Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) dish, giving NIU the lead and the momentum. It was all Huskies from then on.
"To open up [overtime] with a basket is good, it's a momentum changer," Wilcox said. "I try to take over the game, keep everyone under control. We lost that a little at the end [of regulation]. As the game goes on, after we started attacking, a lot of things opened up."
"It's deflating a little bit [when NIU hit the three to start overtime], but we teach possession by possession," Western Michigan head coach Tasha McDowell said. "We had a miscommunication and we left one of their best three point shooters wide open."
Freeman extended NIU's lead to five, 60-55, when she hit a jumper in the lane. It was her last field goal of the game. Freeman did the rest of her damage at the free throw line, going 6-for-6 from the charity strip, to finish with 10 points on the game. Wilcox and Freeman combined to score 15 of the Huskies' 16 points in the overtime period.
After going into halftime with a 30-21 lead, the Huskies extended it to 40-27 with 16:44 left to play in regulation. However, Western Michigan (4-12, 0-3) charged back with a 13-2 run to take a 43-42 8:56 left to play. NIU responded with a 10-0 run to retake control of the game, 52-43, but the Broncos would not go away. Down 10 with 2:02 left in the second half, WMU went on a 10-0 run, forcing the overtime.
Northern Illinois out-shot the Broncos, 45.1 percent to 32.3 percent and had three players finish in double figures with Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) scoring 12 points to join Wilcox and Freeman among the Huskie scoring leaders. Western Michigan's Tiera DeLaHoussaye led all scorers with a career-high 28 points, scoring six of those in overtime, while WMU's Miame Giden also finished in double figures with 12 points.
The Huskies improved to 2-0 in overtime games, winning both at home. NIU scored an 85-79 win over UIC, earlier this season at the Convocation Center.
NIU will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 17 when the Huskies play host to Eastern Michigan. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. CST. Fans can follow all the action with Andy Garcia on 1360 AM WLBK.
Saturday is Women's Basketball Alumnae Day. All former NIU players, coaches and managers are invited back for the festivities. There will be the annual Alumnae Game at 10 a.m. and a lunch after. Women's basketball alumnae will then be recognized at halftime of the Huskies' game with Eastern Michigan. Fans are also welcomed to join in the fun. Anyone with a ticket to NIU's game with the Eagles receives free admission to the Alumnae Game. For tickets, contact the NIU ticket office at 815-752-6800 or log on to www.niuhuskies.com.