Feb. 10, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team held Ohio to just 18 first-half points en route to a 68-61 victory at the Convocation Center, Wednesday night.
"I'm very happy we got the win; it was a good win for us," NIU head coach Carol Owens said.
Junior Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) tallied her ninth double-double of the season with team-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Adams connected on 7-of-11 shots from the field and hit 6-of-8 free throws for her most efficient scoring performance of the season.
"We had no answer for Mauvolyene Adams," Ohio head coach Semeka Randall said. "She was mean and nasty, in a good way. She had a killer instinct tonight."
It was the Huskie defense in the first half that allowed NIU to build a 21-point advantage after 20 minutes. Northern Illinois held Ohio to just 26.7 percent (7-of-26) shooting from the field and scored 13 points off of 12 Bobcat turnovers.
"We've got to be able to get defensive stops," Owens said. "I felt like Kylie York and Courtney Shelton stepped up [defensively] and Mauvolyene was a presence inside, getting to the free throw line, getting rebounds."
The Huskie defensive cued an offensive outburst that saw NIU score 39 points and hit 50 percent (17-of-34) of its shots from the field. Junior Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) posted 11 points in the first, leading NIU to a 39-18 advantage at the break.
Freeman finished the night with one of her best all-around performances in recent memory, commanding the court for 19 points, five assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Sarah Rogers (Chicago, Ill./Marshall) also stood out individually with 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Though several individuals put forth top performances, it was the team effort on both ends that gave the Huskies the edge. Crisp passes on offense and active hands on defense defined the last eight minutes of the first half. Those factors contributed to a 19-3 run that saw a three-point Huskie advantage balloon to a 34-14 lead in just five minutes. The Huskies hit eight straight shots, forced four Ohio turnovers, and held the Bobcats without a field goal during the run.
Northern Illinois finished its tour of the MAC East with the win, and start the return tour of the West Division at Central Michigan, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. (CST).