Jan. 26, 2008
Box Score in PDF Format
OXFORD, Ohio.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team erased a 15-point halftime deficit to post its first road victory of the season, defeating Miami (OH) 77-74 Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall in a tale of two halves.
"This game is a part of our maturation process, in terms of when you're on the road, teams are going to make a comeback on you, we have to keep our composure," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "It was a physical game throughout, a game we hadn't been in yet. I'm just so proud of these young ladies."
The Huskies (7-12, 3-3) opened the game strong. After falling behind 2-0 right after the tip, NIU went on an 8-0 run to take an 8-2 lead with 15:55 left in the first half. The RedHawks' Amanda Jackson went on a 12-2 run to give Miami (OH) a 16-14 lead with 11:02 left to play in the half.
Miami (OH) (11-9, 3-3) began to extend its lead toward the end of the half, thanks in large part to Laura Markwood. In the last eight minutes of play, Markwood accounted for 10 RedHawk points, pushing Miami's (OH) lead to 37-22 at halftime.
Jackson finished the first half with 16 points, while Markwood ended the first with 13. After starting out well offensively, the Huskies finished the first half shooting 27 percent from the floor.
NIU opened the second half with a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to 38-29 with 18 minutes left to play. Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) erupted from beyond the arc, hitting four-straight treys to tie the game at 43 with 14:34 left to play. Markwood responded for Miami (OH) with back-to-back threes to give the RedHawks a 49-44 with 13 minutes left to play.
Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood) provided NIU with a spark midway through the second half, scoring six points in a two-minute span, to give the Huskies a 52-51 lead with 11:20 left to play. York's sixth three of the half gave NIU a 55-51 lead with 10:17 left.
The Huskies extended their lead to 73-60, their largest of the game, on another York three pointer, with two minutes left to play. Miami's (OH) Jenna Schone made things interesting in the final 17 seconds, hitting two threes to pull the RedHawks to with in three with 10 seconds left to play. Schone had a chance to send it into overtime, but her shot at the buzzer fell short and the Huskies walked away with the win.
Northern Illinois had an incredible second half offensively, shooting 76 percent going 16-21 from the field, including 7-8 from three-point land for 55 second-half points. The Huskies shot 46 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc for the game. NIU also went to the line 24 times in the second half of play, going 16-24 from the charity stripe in the final frame and 19-28 for the game.
York had a career game. After scoring five points in the first half, she finished the game with a career- and game-high 27 points, 8-12 from the field and 7-11 from three-point territory. She was a perfect 6-6 from long range in the second half. York also was perfect from the free throw line, going 4-4. York surpassed assistant coach E.C. Hill on the Huskies all-time three-pointers made list.
"She just has to keep shooting," Owens said of York. "We know she's going to get into that rhythm. She got to continue to have confidence in her shot. She knows she has the green light and in games like this we needed that."
Becky Smith (Janesville, Wis./Parker) also finished in double figures with a season-high 10 points. Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) and Welton each finished with eight points. The Huskie bench also came up big scoring 17 points.
Jackson and Markwood were the leading scorers for the RedHawks, finishing with 27 and 24 points respectively.
NIU will be back on the court Thursday Jan. 31, 2008 when the Huskies welcome Buffalo to the Convocation Center. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.