Huskies Fall to Buffalo in First Round of 2009 MAC Tourney

GO HUSKIES Jessie Wilcox finished her Huskie career with 1,007 career-points
Jessie Wilcox finished her Huskie career with 1,007 career-points

March 11, 2009

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CLEVELAND -The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team's run in the 2009 Kraft MAC Tournament came to an abrupt end when the Huskies fell to Buffalo, 57-52, in the first round game Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

"We're very disappointed in the outcome of this game," Owens said. "Buffalo played a very good game. We, for the most part, had control of the game until the last seven minutes. We couldn't score. We missed some crucial rebounds on the offensive end."

The Huskies struggled offensively, shooting 28.8 percent from the field, going 19-of-66 for the game and just 8-of-36 in the second half. With the score tied 42-42 with 11:46 left to play, Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) hit a bucket in the lane to give NIU (15-15, 10-6) a two-point lead. It would be the last field goal the Huskies would hit for 11 minutes.

Despite its poor shooting from the field, NIU was able to build a five-point lead with its free throw shooting. Ellis, Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) and Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) collectively went five of six from the line to give the Huskies a 49-44 lead with seven minutes left to play.

Down 50-48 with 3:34 on the clock, Buffalo's (7-23, 2-14) Kourtney Brown tied the game with a layup, and a layup by Jessica Fortman gave the Bulls their first lead of the game, 52-50, with 2:49 left to play. The Huskies had an opportunity to tie the game on the ensuing possession, but Freeman's runner in the lane was blocked.

The Huskies still had a chance with under a minute to play when Buffalo's Dayna Smith missed a jumper. However, the Bulls' Jamie Schiebner grabbed the offensive rebound and scored her only points of the game on a put back to give UB a four-point lead with 43 seconds left to play.

"That hurt us," Owens said. "We made them take the shot and we didn't get the rebound. They got the offensive rebound. That hurts down the stretch."

Three Huskies finished in double figures with Freeman leading the way with 13 points, while Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) finished with 12, all coming in the first half. The senior guard scored her 1,000th-career point on her third field goal of the game, finishing her Huskie career with 1,007 points. Ellis posted her seventh double-double of the season and ninth of her career, scoring 10 points and grabbing a game-high 14 boards.

Buffalo shot 42.6 percent from the field for the game and had three players finish in double figures with Brown leading all scorers with 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.




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