Huskies Win Exhibition Opener 85-66
Nov. 10, 2009
DeKALB - Mauvolyene Adams scored 19 points and added 15 rebounds, as the Northern Illinois women's basketball team downed Lewis 85-66 in the season's first and only exhibition game Tuesday at the Convocation Center.
The Huskies fought a tight battle with the Flyers in the first half before pulling away in the second. Northern Illinois outscored Lewis 48-34 after the break, propelled by 15 second half points by guard Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier). The 2009 MAC Sixth Player of the Year started the game, and connected on three second-half three pointers to help the Huskies break away.
Head coach Carol Owens, who begins her fifth season in that position at NIU, saw the experience the exhibition game as the most valuable part of the day.
"You can't substitute for a game atmosphere," Owens said. "Still, there is work to do, but now we know (what that work is) because we have a game."
Lewis built as much as a four point lead early in the game. Trailing 15-11 eight minutes in, Northern Illinois began to settle in and execute. The strength of a varied attack gave NIU control of the game, as forward Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet), guard Courtney Shelton (Rockford, Ill./Hononegah), along with Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) and Freeman all scored over the following five minutes to give the Huskies a 24-22 edge that they would never relinquish.
"In the first half we weren't in the flow and tempo of the game," Owens said. "But our team adjusted well in the second half."
Owens' squad entered the floor for the second with a five point lead, but a sharpness on both ends of the court unseen over the first 20 minutes. The Huskies shot 58.1 percent (18-of-31) from the field and knocked down 4-of-6 three-pointers. The hot shooting put NIU on top by 14 points halfway through the period, and the Huskies never looked back.
"We settled down and had some flashes of who we are as a team and how we can play," Owens said.
Northern Illinois turned the ball over just 10 times in the game, and outrebounded the Flyers 49-34, with a 22-9 edge in offensive boards.
In addition to Adams and Freeman's scoring bursts, Ellis totaled 17 points to go with eight rebounds and 5-of-6 free throw shooting. Tenisha Wilson (Chicago, Ill./Bogan Computer Technical) and Shelton added six a-piece. Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) contributed five points to go with two steals.
"It was a good game to play everybody and see what everybody can do," Owens said.
Forward Jenny Turpel led the flyers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Kelly Monaco added 12, and Labrenthia Murdock scored 14 off the bench.
The Huskies host Bradley at the Convocation Center Friday at 7 p.m. Lower bowl tickets for the regular season opener can be purchased at the door for just one dollar by bringing a ticket stub from Thursday night's NIU-Ball State football game.
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