Dec. 29, 2007
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INDIANAPOLIS-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team was edged out by IUPUI, 58-55 Saturday afternoon at The Jungle in Indianapolis.
"It was a tough loss," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "I felt we had opportunities to win it. We had crucial turnovers because we were not comfortable because we were getting a little pressure. We've got to understand it's not always going to be comfortable for us when we're playing on the road."
The first half was a see-saw affair, with the score tied five times and the lead changing hands five times. The Huskies were down by four early, but back-to-back threes from Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) and Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) and a jumper from Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) gave the Huskies (4-8) a 20-15 lead with 8:42 left to play in the half. However, the Jaguars closed out the half with an 8-0 run to take a 28-25 lead into halftime.
A 6-0 run by the Jaguars to open the second half, allowed IUPUI (4-9) to push its lead to 34-25 with 18:18 left to play. The Huskies responded with an 8-0 run to pull to within one with 14:16 left to play. A three from York tied the game at 36, but back-to-back IUPUI baskets gave the advantage back to the Jaguars. The Huskies tied it at 54 with 2:28 left to play on a made free throw by Wilcox.
The Huskies began the final minute and 20 seconds down 56-54, but were unable to get the go-ahead basket. Two free throws by IUPUI's Brykeesha Tate sealed the victory for the Jaguars.
NIU had two Huskies finish in double figures. Wilcox led the way for the Huskies with 15 points, while Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornton) add 13. Mauvolyene Adams finished with a career-high 10 rebounds. The Huskies shot 41 percent from the field and 80 percent from the charity stripe.
"This was a game we should have had," Owens said. "We can live with that because we know we were capable of winning this game, but in the end it's a tough loss and we have to bounce back."
The Huskies will be back in action Monday, Dec. 31 when NIU travels to Normal, Ill. to take on in-state rival Illinois State. Tip off is set for 2:05 p.m. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.