Jan. 25, 2008
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DEKALB, Ill.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team is back on the road Saturday when it travels to Oxford, Ohio to face Miami (OH). Both teams are coming off big wins. The Huskies (6-12, 2-3) defeated Toledo by 20 points at home, while Miami (OH) (11-8, 3-2) defeated Bowling Green 63-60 at Bowling Green.
Miami (OH) leads the all-time series between the two teams, holding a 13-10 advantage. However, the Huskies have won the last three meetings. NIU won last year's contest, 82-70, Feb. 3, 2007 at the Convocation Center. Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) led the way for Northern Illinois scoring a career-high and game-high 24 points, going 8-13 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc.
The last victory for the Huskies in Oxford, Ohio came Feb. 4, 2006 when the Huskies escaped with a 51-49 victory. NIU hopes for a similar result Saturday. The Huskies enter Millett Hall in search of that elusive first road victory of the season. NIU is 0-8 on the road this season. It's a dilemma that has had NIU head coach Carol Owens and the Huskies looking to solve.
"I think that is the burning question for us," NIU head coach Carol Owens said of playing at home and on the road. "At home we're confident, we shoot better and we feel freer, we know how to win and that we can control the hustle points. We have proven that we're a good defensive team. It's a mentality that we're learning how important it is to play at that level every game."
One area that the Huskies have improved on is turning the ball over. NIU was plagued with turnovers during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Huskies averaged 22.6 turnovers in non-conference play. NIU has trimmed that number a bit during conference play, turning the ball over 19.2 times since MAC play began. The Huskies have had fewer turnovers than their opponents in the last four games.
Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) has also been a bright spot since conference play began. She recorded her first double-double of the season against Toledo Wednesday night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Lowe is averaging 15.2 points a game in MAC play, well above her season average of 8.9 points a game.
"She's tough enough to go out each and every game; she's one of our consistent scorers and she poses a match-up problem for other teams," Owens said of Lowe. "If you look at the post players in our league, she is one who can come out and hit the three, but also drive the ball and rebound."
Tip off between the Huskies and RedHawks is set for 1 p.m. CST. Fans can follow all the action live with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.