NIU Comeback Bid Falls Short in 72-68 Loss to Ohio

GO HUSKIES Kylie York and the Huskies fell to Ohio, 72-68, Monday at the Convocation Center.
Kylie York and the Huskies fell to Ohio, 72-68, Monday at the Convocation Center.

March 3, 2008

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DEKALB, Ill.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team concluded the home portion of its 2007-08 schedule falling to Ohio, 72-68, in the Convocation Center Monday night.

"This was a disappointing loss, a very disappointing loss because we had opportunities. I didn't think we started with enough energy at the beginning of the game," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We played in spurts and we've got to do better than that for 40 minutes. Even at the end, we missed a box out at a crucial point in the game. We needed stops and we didn't get them when we needed them."

With the loss, the Huskies are assured of the No. 4 seed in the MAC West in the 2008 Mid-American Conference Tournament and will face Kent State, Monday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m. CST.

After falling behind 5-2 in the first three minutes of the first half, NIU (10-16, 6-7) went on a 12-3 run to take a 14-8 lead with 13:19 left in the first half. Ohio (17-11, 10-5) answered with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 14 with 10 minutes left to play in the half.

The Bobcats Simone Reed triggered a 10-2 Ohio run when she hit a three-pointer to give Ohio a 20-18 lead at the eight-minute mark. Down 27-20 with four minutes left in the first, the Huskies closed to within four with a minute and a half left to play before halftime, but into the break trailing, 33-27.

Northern Illinois came out flat in the second half and Ohio took advantage. The Bobcats opened the final frame with a 7-1 run, pushing its lead to 12, 40-28, with 17:38 left to play. Trailing by 14 with 13:05 left to play, the Huskies went on a 10-2 run to cut the Bobcat lead to six, 51-45, with nine and a half minutes left to play. Ohio regained control with a 10-4 run pushing its lead to 12.

The Huskies made one last run at the Bobcats in the final 30 seconds of the game. Down by nine with 16 seconds left, Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) converted a three-point play pull the Huskies to within six. Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) hit a three with eight seconds left to pull the Huskies to within three, 71-68, but that would be the closest the Huskies would get.

Lowe turned in another strong performance, scoring a team-high 16 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. York did all her scoring from beyond the arc, going 4-10 from the field for 12 points. Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) also finished in double figures with 10 points.

The Huskies are back on the court Wednesday night when they travel to Muncie, Ind. to take on Ball State. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. CST. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360-AM WLBK.



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