Nov. 15, 2007
Final Stats in PDF Format
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team posted its second win of the season in dramatic fashion Thursday night when junior Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood) scored the game-winning basket with three seconds left to play to give the Huskies a 60-59 victory over Western Illinois in the Convocation Center.
Trailing 58-59 with 25 seconds left to play, the Huskies (2-1) took a timeout to draw up the winning play. Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) drove to the basket and passed it to Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) in the corner. Her three-pointer missed, but Welton was right there for the rebound and the put back.
"We ran a play that isolated Jessie and Becky on one side and Western Illinois was ready for that," said NIU head coach Carol Owens. " Jessie drove and kicked it to Kylie, and Shari' did what she does best which was rebound and put it back up. That was huge and that was the game."
Welton's game-winning rebound and shot topped her first career double-double as a Huskie, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but the Huskies were led by Wilcox' 23-point performance.
"I think at the beginning of the game our defense was not very active. Once we got down to it, we switched the bottom of the defense (on the 2-3 zone) up a lot and were able to get more active that way," Wilcox said. "With the defense playing well, we were able to get some easy transition points and get the offense going that way. We did a good job of taking what they gave us throughout the game."
Thursday night's game began under unusual circumstances. Western Illinois (1-1) was assessed and administrative technical foul when the jersey number of Katy Davenport was entered into the scorebook improperly. Wilcox went to the line and made both free throws to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead before the ball was tipped.
The Huskies shot 34 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point territory and 80 percent from the free throw line. The Huskies outrebounded the Westerwinds, 39-33, and converted those rebounds into 15 second-chance points.
Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) had a solid performance in her first start of the season. The senior forward scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds. Terriel Cannon (Hillside, Ill./Proviso West) had a big night for the Huskies doing the little things coming off the bench. With 2:29 left to play in the first half, Cannon had a steal and a layup to cut the NIU deficit to four. One the very next possession, she came up with another steal, missed a layup, but Welton was there for the rebound and put back to pull the Huskies to within two with two minutes left in the half.
The Huskies will be back in action Wednesday when the Huskies take No. 17 Michigan State in the Caribbean Challenge at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.