Dec. 17, 2009
Box Score in PDF Format
CHICAGO - Junior Ebony Ellis scored a career-high 23 points and had a key block in overtime to help lift Northern Illinois to a 75-65 win over Loyola, Thursday night at the Gentile Center.
The Huskies (4-6) got off to one of their best starts of the year, jumping out to a 10-2 lead. The Ramblers (4-4) pushed back to get within four when NIU senior Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) hit a three-pointer to break the first half open, and break the Huskie record for three-pointers made in a career. York finished the night with 16 points on the strength of four made treys. She entered the game tied for first place in the NIU history books with Denise Dove (1987-91) at 221 made threes, and now holds sole possession of the record.
Loyola got within two points of NIU in the first half at 21-19 before the Huskies rattled off eight straight to extend the lead back to double digits. York capped the half with a three pointer to give Northern Illinois a 16-point lead heading into the locker room.
The Ramblers fought back almost exclusively due to the shooting of senior Maggie McCloskey. Loyola's all-time leading three-point shooter hit 6-of-11 treys in the second half and added a long two to score 20 points in the second half alone. The final three of the barrage put Loyola in position to tie the game as the regulation buzzer sounded. Loyola guard Keisha Collins sent the game to an extra session with a last-second lay-up that tied the game for the first time.
Northern Illinois answered by opening overtime with a 9-0 run that included a three-point play from Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook), and saw four different Huskies score. Up 70-61, Northern Illinois hit 5-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
In addition to her game-high scoring total, Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) added season highs of 18 rebounds and three blocks, including a key swat in overtime that led the Huskies taking a nine-point lead with 1:15 left. In overtime alone, Ellis had three points, three boards, an assist, and a block.
Adams also tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) scored all 11 of her points in the second half to become the fourth Huskie in double-figures. The junior added a season-high six assists, six rebounds and one steal.
Northern Illinois had their best shooting half of the season, hitting 58.6 percent from the field in the first. The Huskies outrebounded the Ramblers 45-29, and dominated the scoring in the paint 30-14. NIU added 18 second chance points of 14 offensive boards to help break a five-game losing streak.
McCloskey shared scoring honors with Ellis at 23 points. Collins was the only other Rambler in double-figures, scoring 14 primarily on the strength of 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line.
The Huskies break for the holidays before returning to action Dec. 29 when they host UIC at the Convocation Center. Tickets are available by calling (815) 752-6800 or logging on to www.niuhuskies.com and clicking "Tickets."