Balanced Attack in Huskie Women's Basketball's First Back-to-Back
DeKalb, IL ---
With Stephanie Raymond equalling her career high of 24 points for
the fifth time, the Northern Illinois University women*s basketball
squad posted back-to-back victories for the first time this season
with a 73-64 triumph over Indiana University-Purdue University Fort
Wayne (IPFW) Wednesday (Jan. 4) night.
/ Lutheran) * who also chalked up 24 points for the second time
in the last three contests --- topped a quartet of double-figure
scorers to help the Huskies improve to 4-7 after having just claimed
the consolation title of the Florida International University Fun
& Sun Classic with a 69-56 triumph over Coppin State University.
IPFW*s Mastadons, now in a fourth year as a Division I independent
program, saw their record slip to 2-10.
*I was really
excited for the first 30 minutes, but then I thought we had a letdown
and gave up some second-chance baskets, but overall I*m pleased
with the win,* NIU coach Carol Owens said. *We*ve improved quite
a bit over our last three or four games. You look at the stats and
our turnovers have come down. In the first half we had only five,
we ended up with 17, but we*re improving. Our offensive execution
is looking better and once again we outrebounded our opponent. Those
are all indications that we know what we*re looking for offensively
and that*s making it able for us to score more.*
After the visitors
started off with a 1-0 lead, Northern Illinois ran off 10 straight
points and raced out to a 23-8 advantage midway through the opening
half. The Huskies built the margin up to 19 at intermission on a
three-pointer for a 41-22 lead. Four minutes into the second half,
NIU took its largest lead of 27, 53-26, on a Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh,
WI / West) lay-up. Northern Illinois enjoyed 20-point plus margins
until the final three and half minutes. A last basket by IPFW accounted
for the game*s final nine-point tally.
*We knew IPFW
would come in and be aggressive, so we*d just have to follow our
gameplan that we*d gone through in practice, come out and play solid
defense and execute on offense so that we could come out on top
and we did,* Raymond explained.
who sandwiched a 21-point performance against Coppin State between
the 24-point outings versus FIU and IPFW, hit 9-of-18 from the floor,
including 3-of-9 three-pointers, plus 3-of-5 free throws to account
for her point total which was followed by game highs for rebounds
(eight), assists (nine) and steals (three).
*Coach has been
on me about my assist to turnover ratio, so to have nine assists,
it*s great,* Raymond said. *I still have to cut down on my turnovers
as the point guard. We*re becoming a lot more comfortable with our
offense and I think it shows on the court with everyone*s contributions.*
to Raymond*s fourth 20-point performance of the season, the Huskies
had four double-figure scorers for the second time this year. Jennifer
Uptmor (Centerville, OH) --- who returned to the starting line-up
with Nikita Odom (Hazel Crest / Country Club Hills Hillcrest) being
sidelined by the flu --- came up with a career-high 12 piints which
was matched by Wiener (Apple Valley, MN / Academy of the Holy Angels).
Wilcox nearly doubled her previous career best with her initial
double-figure performance of 11 which featured a 3-for-3 shooting
night, including a three-pointer, plus a perfect 4-of-4 at the charity
improving and we*re consistently getting better contributions from
more players. Kacia (Gillette --- Roscoe / Rockton-Hononegah) has
done well lately, hit some big shots against Coppin State. Becky
(Smith * Janesville, WI / Parker) has provided some instant scoring
and gotten us some defensive rebounds,* Owens added.
IPFW*s lone double-figure scorer was standout guard Johnna Lews-Carlisle,
who overcame a 1-for-10 first half to finish with 23 points by hitting
8-of-13 over the final 20 minutes. Teammate Starla Williams was
next with eight points and a team-high six boards as the Mastadons
were outrebounded 45-32.
*I was extremely
impressed with Northern Illinois* execution,* IPFW interim head
coach Chris Paul said. *We had a couple of films and knew about
Raymond and (Kristin) Weiner, and knew what they could do, but we
didn*t anticipate their execution of the screen and roll, and having
someone filling the back side so well to score easy buckets. I was
extremely impressed by NIU there. On the other hand, I was extremely
disappointed in the effort that our players gave early on.
*When you find
yourself down 21 after one half, that*s a pretty big hill to come
back from. However, I felt our kids battled all the way to the end
and never gave in. The score ends up a little closer than it should
have been, but that*s a credit to our kids not giving up,* Paul
which was playing only its fourth home game of the season, returns
to the road to open Mid-American Conference play at 6 p.m. (CST)
on Saturday (Jan. 7) at Eastern Michigan University. That*s followed
by a Wednesday (Jan. 11) 6 p.m. visit to Central Michigan University.
information, please contact Steve Nemeth) NIU