Huskie Stifle Panthers in 71-64 Win



Dec. 2, 2010

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Northern Illinois 71, Northern Iowa 64
West Gym | Cedar Falls, Iowa

1st 2nd Final
 Northern Iowa
27 37 64
 Northern Illinois
34 37 71
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Attendance: 287
 Player of the Game

Marke Freeman
Points: 30
Rebounds: 12
Assists: 4
FG: 8-11 (.727)

 Team Stats
 FG Percentage
59.0 36.1
 3-Point FG Percentage 80.0 20.0
 FT Percentage 87.5 75.0
 Offensive Rebounds
2 34
 Defensive Rebounds 9 15
 Total Rebounds 36 24
11 10
19 8
3 0
3 5
 Points in the Paint
26 26
 Points off Turnovers
10 18
 Women's Basketball Quick Links

· NIU Women's Hoops on Facebook

· 2010-11 Schedule/Results

· 2010-11 Statistics

· Head Coach Kathi Bennett


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Senior Marke Freeman poured in 30 points and added 12 rebounds, as the Northern Illinois women's basketball team defeated Northern Iowa, 71-64, Thursday.

The Huskies (5-3) shot a blistering 59.0 percent (23-39) from the field, including an 8-for-11 performance by Freeman, who made six straight free throws in the last 65 seconds of the game to seal the win.

"It was a great team win - by far the best we've played intensity-wise, and energy-wise," NIU head coach Kathi Bennett said. "On both ends of the floor we really played together."

Northern Illinois led most of the way by controlling the tempo and forcing UNI (3-3) into difficult shots. The Panthers trailed by seven at halftime, but battled back to tie the game 56-56 at the 6:33 mark on a three-pointer by Lizzie Boeck. NIU answered with a lay-up by Kim Davis, two of her career-high 15 points, and a jumper from Freeman to take a four point lead.

"Kim brought incredible passion," Bennett said. "She led with her energy right off the bat... she was diving everywhere.'

The teams exchanged pairs of free throws leading into a crucial score from the right block by Ebony Ellis that put NIU up 64-58 with 3:22 left. Neither team would score again until Ellis fouled Oney, who hit two free throws to whittle the lead back down to four, 64-60 with 1:49 left.

The Panthers fouled Davis on the ensuing possession, who hit one of two free throws. Boeck answered with a lay-up, trimming the lead to 65-62 with 1:13 left. On the next play, UNI fouled Freeman who hit both free throws to extend the lead back to five. Oney hit a lay-up seconds later and was fouled, but failed to convert the three-point play, leaving her team down 67-64 with 60 seconds on the clock.

The Huskies failed to convert on their next possession, giving the Panthers life, down three with the ball and 22 seconds left in the game. Northern Illinois forced Northern Iowa's Erin Brocka into a bad pass from the high post, and the Huskies sealed the game with four free throw makes by Freeman.

"Our consistent pressure throughout the game makes mistakes like that happen," Bennett said. "That turnover was a sign of what defensive pressure can do."

Northern Illinois set out to control the game from the start. The Huskies allowed only 24.2 percent shooting (8-33), and the Panthers missed 15 of their 17 three-pointers in the first half. In addition to playing some of their best defense of the year, the Huskies shot the lights out. NIU hit 13-of-22 shots (59.1 percent) from the field, with 3-of-4 makes from Davis, 3-of-5 shooting by Freeman, and a 3-of-5 performance from Ellis, who finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds.

On the strength of both offensive and defensive proficiency, the lead for NIU grew as large as 11 in the first half. The Panthers trimmed the advantage to seven, 34-27, heading into halftime. The teams match one another point-for-point, each scoring 37, in the second half. NIU stayed hot from the field, hitting 10-of-17 shots (58.8 percent), while UNI connected on 50 percent (14-28) of its attempts from the field.

For Freeman, it was the fifth time in eight games this season she has scored more than 20 points, and the fourth time in her career she has broached the 30-point boundary.

"Marke had another incredible performance, but the most important thing to point out was it wasn't just scoring," Bennett said. "She made a difference defensively, her passing was great, when they pressed she took control, and she had energy all night long. Not to mention having 12 rebounds and being arguably one of the smallest players on the floor."

For UNI, Jacqui Kalin and Lizzie Boeck each had 19 for the Panthers. K.K. Armstrong came off the bench to add 10 points. The Huskies will break for finals week, and return to action at DePaul, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.



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