March 2, 2010
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -
Kylie York became the 25th member of the Northern Illinois women's basketball 1,000-Point Club, but the Huskies fell in a 54-47 decision to Western Michigan, Tuesday night at University Arena.
In poetic fashion, York hit a three-pointer with 6:21 left in the first half to push her over the 1,000-point threshold and into another place in the Huskie record book. The senior is already the top three-point shooter in school history. York finished the night with four made threes and 14 points overall.
The loss, which dropped NIU to 10-18 overall and 4-12 in league play, proved to be irrelevant in terms of Mid-American Conference standing. The Huskies secured the ninth seed thanks to an Ohio loss, and will face Miami (Ohio) on the road in the first round of the MAC Tournament, March 6 at noon (CST).
After opening league play with eight consecutive losses, Western Michigan won four of its last eight MAC games and enters the tournament on a two-game winning streak. The Broncos improved to 9-20 overall, and 4-12 in the MAC.
Western Michigan built as large as a 10-point lead in the first half thanks to stingy defense. The Huskies hit just 7-of-28 shots (25 percent) in the period while turning the ball over 11 times. NIU fought back to trail 23-19 at the half, and took a 26-25 lead six minutes the second on a tip-in by Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township).
The teams would exchange leads over the next several minutes with NIU holding as much as a four point advantage. But Western Michigan broke open the game on a three-point play by Miame Giden and three-pointer by Kemmy Dominique. The baskets gave the Broncos 46-40 advantage with 4:42 left, which they were able to carry to victory.
Northern Illinois outshot Western Michigan by a percentage point, and outrebounded the Broncos by two, but the game was decided at the free throw line. The Broncos made 19 trips to the line, hitting 14 shots. NIU hit just 6-of-11 free throw tries.
York's 14 points led the Huskies. She passed former teammate Jessie Wilcox
on the NIU all-time scoring list, and now sits in 24th overall with 1,013 career points. Ellis finished the night with her first double-double since returning from a 10-game absence. She scored 12 points and had 11 rebounds. Giden led all scorers with 15, and was the only Bronco to reach double figures.