Nov. 9, 2007
Final Stats in PDF Format
DeKALB, Ill. - DEKALB, Ill. -The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team posted a 54-48 victory over Bradley University Friday night at the Convocation Center in the Huskies' home and season opener.
Led by Aileen Rossouw (Plano, Texas/Plano) and Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern), the Huskies (1-0) opened the season with a win at home for the third-straight year under NIU head coach Carol Owens. Rossouw led all scorers with 14 points, while York scored 12. All four of her field goals were of the three-point variety.
"We're very happy to get a win tonight. It wasn't pretty but nobody expects to be perfect this early in the season," Owens said. "We fought back pretty hard in the second half especially when Aileen was in the game. It changes the make up of our team when she is on the bench. Kylie came in and she was on the wing, she did a great job for us. It was a good all around team effort."
"I had a lot of rest in the first half," said Rossouw. "I came out and I knew I had to step it up for the team. I kind of let them down in the first half. I just tried to get the ball to the players that needed it in their hands."
Once again, rebounding played a big factor in the Huskies victory. NIU outrebounded Bradley (0-1) 40-24 and freshman Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill. Joliet Township) led all rebounders with 11. Rossouw was second on the team with six.
"We out rebounded a very good team," she said. "They were a good rebounding team last year, and we beat them in that category this year. We have talked a lot about controlling the boards early on. There is a lot to still work on, but we are happy to be in the win column tonight."
The Huskies took a 26-25 lead going into the break, thanks to a three-point basket at the buzzer by Jessie Wilcox.
"It is always good to end a half that way, it keeps our heads up and took us into the second half and gave us a lot of energy to turn the game around," York said of Wilcox' three. "You always have momentum going into the second half when something like that happens."
Bradley didn't back down in the second half. After the Huskies jumped out to an eight-point lead with 9:37 left to play, the Braves cut the deficit in half with 8:34 left to play. That would be as close as they would get the rest of the night as the Huskies began to pull away late. NIU led by as many as 13 points late in the second half. Bradley made a bit of a run at the end but it was not enough.
The Huskies will be back in action Monday night when the Huskies head to Chicago to take on Chicago State. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.