Dec. 2, 2009
DEKALB, ILL.- The Northern Illinois women's basketball team dropped a 71-65 decision to Northern Iowa, as junior Marke Freeman scored a career-high 27 points.
The Huskies (3-4) fell behind early as the Panthers (2-4) scored the first 11 points. Nicole Clausen hit two three-pointers over the stretch to score six of her 16 points.
"We dug a hole in the beginning of the game, and spent the rest of it trying to dig ourselves out," NIU head coach Carol Owens said.
NIU battled back to within three on a lay-up by Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) with 8:06 in the half, but UNI answered with a 6-0 spurt and carried a seven point advantage into halftime.
Northern Illinois opened the second half with a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game 35-33. Freeman scored the final five points of the run, including an off-balance jumper on which she was fouled and made the free throw. But the Panthers responded with a 7-0 run of their own to take the lead for good.
Behind Freeman, junior Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to total her fifth double-double this season. Junior Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) finished the day scoring nine to go with a game-high 12 boards.
"We needed more presence out of our posts," Owens said. "We need to balance our inside and our outside presence."
Sophomore Courtney Shelton (Rockford, Ill./Hononegah) tied her career-high with nine points, and added a personal best six rebounds. Freeman added four steals, three assists and two rebounds to her scoring total. It's the second straight game Freeman has hit a personal best in points. She scored 26 in the Huskies' match-up with DePaul.
Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers. Clausen was joined by Lizzie Boeck with 16. Guard Jacqui Kalin tallied 15, including three treys, and K.K. Armstrong scored 11 while contributing nine rebounds and four assists.
The Huskies shot 35.2 percent (25-71) as a team, including 5-of-17 shooting from behind the arc. Northern Iowa countered, hitting 24-of-59 (40.7 percent) from the field and knocking down seven three-pointers.
"We have got to be smarter about understanding and managing the game," Owens said.
NIU hits the road for three straight in opponent's gyms, starting with a Friday night match-up against Illinois State. All Huskie women's basketball games can be heard on the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network. Locally, NIU fans can tune in to 1360-AM WLBK for the call, while fans outside of DeKalb County can sign-up for Huskie All-Access online at www.niuhuskies.com to hear the broadcasts. The Huskies return home Dec. 29 to host UIC at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.