Feb. 11, 2009
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DEKALB, Ill. - Senior Aileen Rossouw (Plano, Texas/Plano) came off the bench and scored a career- and game-high 18 points to lead the Northern Illinois University women's basketball team to an 80-66 win over Miami University at the Convocation Center Wednesday night.
"We're obviously excited about this win and excited about our group and how we played tonight," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. Miami is a very good scoring team and all game I was yelling about getting some stops, which we did, especially down the stretch."
Rossouw, who went 7-of-12 for the game from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line, had a stretch where she scored 11-straight points for the Huskies and 14 of 17. With Northern Illinois (12-11, 7-3) leading 47-43 with 13:17 left to play, Rossouw drove the basket and made her first of four straight field goals, sparking the Huskie offense.
"I was trying to find the open spot," Rossouw said. "The guards were doing a good job finding me. I was trying to attack, find the gaps and finish."
"She was finishing," Miami (Ohio) head coach Maria Fantanarosa said of Rossouw. "We couldn't find her. Even if we had our two players, I'm not sure we would have been able to stop her. She's a good shooter and she's playing with a sense of urgency right now."
Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) drained a three pointer to give NIU a 61-52 lead with 9:40 left in the game. Rossouw completed her incredible run with an old fashioned three-point play to give the Huskies a 64-54 lead with 8:55 left to play.
Northern Illinois' offense rebounded from its worst shooting performance of the season with a solid 42.6 percent field goal percentage from the field, including 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. Miami (Ohio) (13-10, 5-5) shot 41.8 percent from the field, but were held to 23.1 percent from three-point territory.
The Huskies had three players finish in double figures. In addition to Rossouw, Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) had 16 points and a game-high seven assists, while Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) had 10 points and a team-high nine boards. NIU took care of the ball as well, with a season low six turnovers.
"We had good execution [on offense], good ball handling," Owens said. "We work a lot on it, and I've seen a steady decline in our turnovers since conference play began. We did a good job of taking care of the ball."
Northern Illinois' bench had its best night of the season, scoring a season-high 41 points. Becky Smith (Janesville, Wis./Parker) and Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) each scored nine points.
NIU embarks on a two-game road trip when the Huskies head to Buffalo to face the Bulls Saturday. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. CST.