Jan. 14, 2008
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DEKALB, Ill.- The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team returns to the Convocation Center floor Tuesday night to play host to Central Michigan after suffering a tough loss Saturday, falling to Ball State, 84-78, at the Convo.
While The Huskies (4-11, 0-2) came up on the short on the scoreboard, it was arguably one of the best performances turned in by NIU. The Huskies had their lowest turnover total of the season with 12, while forcing 17 Cardinal miscues. NIU also attempted a season high 77 field goals.
"We wanted to have a lot attempts. I think that helped us in our assist to turnover ratio," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We made it a point to push the ball in transition and be on the attack mode every single time. I thought we did a really good job of that.
"I thought we played really well and we made some strides in the right direction in how we can score offensively. We have to continue to strive to play better on both sides of the court offensively and defensively."
The Huskies have been plagued by injury much of the season. They've had at least one player miss a game due to injury in six of their first 15 games. In the three of those games, NIU had two players out due to injury.
"It plays a huge role in terms of trying to have that flow and chemistry on the court," she said. "It does make a huge difference. We're still trying to get every single one of them healthy. We hope in the next few weeks we will."
NIU welcomed one of its walking wounded back to the floor Saturday when Aileen Rossouw (Plano, Texas/Plano) saw her first action in five games. The 6-2 forward has missed six of the last seven games due to injury. The junior transfer from Auburn finished with seven points and six assists.
"Having Aileen back in the mix really helps us," she said. "People don't know how versatile she is. She can play on the inside, she can play on the outside, which really is her natural position."
The Huskies welcome a Central Michigan (4-11, 0-2) team that, like NIU, is in search of its first conference victory of the season. Northern Illinois leads the all-time series 17-16 over Central Michigan. Last year, the two teams split series season with each team winning on their home floor. The Huskies won the first meeting last season, 73-67, Jan. 6, 2007. Central Michigan won the rematch, 73-61 when the Huskies traveled to Mt. Pleasant Feb. 17, 2007, snapping the Huskies' three-game winning streak over the Chippewas.
Central Michigan head coach Sue Guevara is in her first season at the helm of Central Michigan's women's basketball program. Guevara was head coach at Michigan from 1996-2003 where she was the head coach of current Huskie assistant coach Molly Murray. Murray also served on Guevara's staff for two years.
Tip off between the Chippewas and Huskies is set for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.