Jan. 15, 2008
Final Stats in PDF Format
DEKALB, Ill.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team headed into their game with Central Michigan riding a four-game losing streak. The Huskies took out their frustrations on the visiting Chippewas, posting an 87-60 victory Tuesday night at the Convocation Center.
"This was a huge conference win for us." NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We feel we have the talent and the tools and we played like it tonight. It's a work in progress and we had a couple of injuries early on but we have those players back and it enabled us to get our rhythm going."
The Huskies (5-11, 1-2) had four players finish in double figures for the first time all season and every Huskie that participated in the game scored. Leading the way was freshman Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township), who posted her first career double-double with a team- and career-high 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) was right behind Ellis with 13 points, all coming in the first half. Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood) scored in double figures for the seventh straight game adding 12 points. Whitney Lowe rounded out the top scorers for the Huskies also finishing with 12. Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) had a solid game, scoring nine points and dishing out seven assists.
While the Huskies had one of their best offensive performances of the season, they took care of the little things. For the first time this season, NIU had more assists (23) than turnovers (15) and had fewer turnovers than their opponents in back-to-back games. Northern Illinois shot 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point territory.
The Huskies forced 18 Chippewa (4-12, 0-3) turnovers and cashed them in for 23 points. The Huskie bench also came up big for NIU, adding 24 points.
"We bounced back after a tough loss [Saturday versus Ball State]," Owens said. "We were ready to play on both sides of the court. We ran the ball well. We got rebounds at both ends of the floor. We shot the ball well, we attacked and we drew contact. We executed well in transition and it was great to see."
The Huskies victory over Central Michigan was the largest NIU victory since Nov. 11, 2006 when NIU defeated Illinois State, 97-69. It was the largest point total the Huskies have posted since they scored 90 against St. Joseph's in the Hawkeye Challenge Dec. 9, 2007.
The Huskies will be back to the court Saturday Jan. 19, 2008 when the Huskies travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on the Broncos of Western Michigan. Tip off is set for 3:30 p.m. CST.