Nov. 21, 2008
Box Score in PDF Format
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J.-The NIU women's basketball team lost its opening game of the Seton Hall Classic, 88-73, to UMBC Friday night at Walsh Gymnasium.
The Huskies (1-2) struggled in the first half, unable to get anything going offensively, while UMBC (2-1) came out firing on all cylinders. With the score 18-17 in favor of the Retrievers with 8:43 left to play in the first half, UMBC rattled off a 16-1 run to open up a 34-18 lead with three minutes left to play in the half.
NIU was unable to stem the tide, scoring only one field goal the final nine minutes of the half and went into the break down, 39-23. UMBC shot 44.4 percent from the field in the first half and held the Huskies to a 29.6 percent shooting percentage in the opening frame.
The Huskies did make a charge in the second half. Down 70-50 with 6:22 left to play, NIU cut the deficit to 10, 77-67, with 1:32 left to play. UMBC withstood the Huskie rally to hold on for the victory. The Retrievers won the game down the stretch at the free throw line, scoring their final nine points from the charity stripe. UMBC went 41-53 from the free throw line for the game, shooting 77.4 percent. UMBC had three players finish in double figures, with Katie Brooks leading all scorers with 28 points.
NIU had two players finish in double figures with both Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) and Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) each finishing with 13 points. Aileen Rossouw (Plano, Texas/Plano) grabbed a career-high 10 boards to lead both teams in rebounding.
Turnovers plagued the Huskies. UMBC converted 30 Huskie turnovers into 29 points, while NIU scored 13 points off of 23 Retriever turnovers.
"Our turnovers give other teams opportunities, and we just can't afford to do that," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We didn't come ready to play right at the beginning and we dug ourselves a hole. We had to fight the whole second half to get out of it, and that's tough to do."
The Huskies return to the floor Saturday when NIU takes on Wagner. Tip off is noon Central time.