Huskie Defense Sturdy in Loss to UIC

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Nov. 30, 2010

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CHICAGO - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team held UIC to just 33 percent shooting, but couldn't produce enough offense to down the Flames in a 50-45 loss, Tuesday night.

The Flames (4-2) got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. NIU (4-3) helped UIC by missing its first 15 shots from the field.

"We started out not real good," Bennett said. "We spotted them a pretty big lead, and that really hurt."

The Huskies hit their first basket at the 11:43 mark when Brittney Callahan sunk a three-pointer to get NIU on the board. The shot keyed a 7-2 run that brought NIU within four, 11-7. After the initial shooting drought, the Huskies connected of 7-of-11 field goals in the first half. The dearth of scoring left NIU down 26-15 heading into the locker room, despite holding UIC to just 34.6 percent (9-26) shooting.

"I thought the whole game we played pretty well defensively," Bennett said. "Lack of execution on the offensive end really hurt us."

UIC's Jasmine Bailey opened the second half scoring with a lay-up to give UIC their largest lead of the game 28-15. From there, NIU chipped away, cutting the lead to seven with 14:34 left and down to two on a lay-up by Kim Davis with 8:32 on the clock.

"We made our comeback with executing and doing some good things," Bennett said. "There would be crucial times where we had a turnover or a three-second call."

Bailey answered Davis' lay-up with a three-pointer, but Ebony Ellis followed with a lay-up at 7:39 to trim the lead back to 41-38. It would be the last field goal by either team for over four minutes, when another bucket by Davis closed the gap to two once again, 43-41. Flame Shameia Green hit a free throw to extend the UIC lead to three, but Marke Freeman hit her only field goal of the game to bring the Huskies within one point, 44-43.

Again, Bailey came to UIC's rescue, knocking down a pair of free throws to give the Flames a three-point advantage with 41 seconds remaining. Freeman missed a three-pointer on the ensuing possession and were forced to foul. Katie Hannemann hit one of two free throws, and Kim Davis follows with a lay-up to bring the UIC lead back to two 47-45 with six seconds left.

The Huskies fouled on the inbounds, giving Taylor Foulks an opportunity to seal the game at the free throw line. Foulks missed the first of two shots, but made the second to put UIC up 48-45 with seven seconds on the clock. Courtney Shelton caught the inbounds pass from Kim Davis, mirroring a play from earlier in the season in which Shelton hit the game-winner at the buzzer against SIU. But Bailey knocked the ball loose into the backcourt, chased it down and sunk a lay-up with 0.3 seconds left to close the door on the NIU comeback.

Ellis led the Huskies with 12 points and 13 rebounds. NIU received nine points each from Davis and Shelton. Freshman Ashley Sneed scored a career-high eight points.

"Hopefully can take this game, cut some film up and show, and get better," Bennett said.

The Huskies return to the court Thursday night at Northern Iowa. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on 1360-AM WLBK and through Huskie All-Access at NIUHuskies.com.

 

 

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