DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women’s basketball team (8-10, 2-4 MAC) takes to the road in search of back-to-back wins when they take on Miami (4-15, 2-4 MAC), Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CST) at Millett Hall.
Millet Hall is the site of senior Kylie York’s best offensive game as a Huskie. York tied a school-record with seven three-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points. The outburst propelled NIU from a 15-point halftime deficit to a 77-74 road win.
Current NIU assistant coach Heather Oesterle was on the bench watching York’s 27-point performance, only she was coaching the RedHawks. Oesterle spent five seasons with Miami before making the move to NIU at the beginning of the 2008-09 season.
Miami leads the all-time series with NIU, 13-12. The margin is narrow both in DeKalb, where the Huskies lead 8-6, and in Oxford, where the RedHawks hold a 6-4 edge.
Northern Illinois has won the last five outings against Miami, including a 14-point win at the Convocation Center last season. NIU head coach Carol Owens has not lost to the RedHawks in five seasons on the bench.
LAST TIME AGAINST MIAMI
Senior Aileen Rossouw came off the bench and scored a career- and game-high 18 points to lead the NIU to an 80-66 win over Miami University.
Rossouw, who went 7-of-12 for the game from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line, had a stretch where she scored 11-straight points for the Huskies and 14 of 17. With Northern Illinois (12-11, 7-3) leading 47-43 with 13:17 left to play, Rossouw drove to the basket and made her first of four straight field goals, sparking the Huskie offense.
Kylie York drained a three pointer to give NIU a 61-52 lead with 9:40 left in the game. Rossouw completed her incredible run with an old fashioned three-point play to give the Huskies a 64-54 lead with 8:55 left to play.
Northern Illinois’ offense rebounded from its worst shooting performance of the season with a solid 42.6 percent field goal percentage from the field, including 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. Miami (Ohio) shot 41.8 percent from the field, but were held to 23.1 percent from three-point territory.
The Huskies had three players finish in double figures. In addition to Rossouw, Jessie Wilcox had 16 points and a game-high seven assists, while Mauvolyene Adams had 10 points and a team-high nine boards. NIU took care of the ball as well, with a season-low six turnovers.
Northern Illinois’ bench had its best night of the season, scoring a season-high 41 points. Becky Smith and Marke Freeman each scored nine points.
ABOUT THE REDHAWKS
Miami and Northern Illinois enter Wednesday’s contest with identical 2-4 league records, but the RedHawks have gone just 4-15 overall. That record includes an opening day win over Bucknell, followed by a 10-game losing streak.
Miami has MAC wins over Ohio (66-58) and Buffalo (62-55), with losses to East Division rivals Kent State (50-39), Akron (55-40) and Bowling Green (85-65). Most recently, the RedHawks lost a road game at West Division leader Toledo by seven points.
Freshman guard Courtney Osborn leads the team and ranks third in the MAC with 18.3 points per game, A graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School, also the alma mater of NIU senior Kylie York, Osborn has been slowed to 14.3 points per game in MAC play.
ON THE AIR
Every NIU basketball game of the 2009-10 season can be heard on the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Radio Network. Women’s games can be heard on 1360-AM WLBK and online at www.niuhuskies.com through Huskie All-Access.
Marke Freeman is the only player in the Mid-American Conference to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. Her 24.5 points per game lead the league, while her 5.2 assists per game are second best. She also ranks 16th in rebounding with a 5.8 average.
Junior Marke Freeman was named MAC West Player of the Week, Monday, Jan. 25, after averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game against Central Michigan and Buffalo. Freeman scored a career-high 36 against the Bulls, including two late lay-ups that finished a 16-point NIU comeback to send the game to overtime. The award is the second in three weeks for the Springfield, Ill. native. With Ebony Ellis’ two Player of the Week selections, NIU has earned the honor four times in a season for the first time since rejoining the MAC in 1997-98.
ANOTHER RECORD TO CHASE
Senior Kylie York is en route to becoming the 25th member of the Northern Illinois 1,000-Point Club. York has scored 915 points in her career at NIU. That total includes 747 points on 249 career three-pointers made, the most in Huskie history.
York’s career-high in points came two years ago at Miami. She buried a school-record seven three-pointers en route to 27 points. Her scoring outburst helped propel NIU from a 15-point halftime deficit to a three-point win. Current NIU assistant coach Heather Oesterle was on Miami’s bench in the same role for that game.
“GUARDING” THE BOARDS
Northern Illinois guards Marke Freeman and Sarah Rogers both rank in the MAC’s top-20 for rebounding in conference play. They are also the two shortest players on the list. Rogers, who stands 5-8, ranks ninth in the league with 7.7 boards per game. At just 5-5, Freeman ranks 16th with 5.8 per contest. Only one other guard is in the rankings. Miami’s Ashleigh Brown, who stands 5-11, is tied for 18th (5.5 rpg).
BIG MARGINS IN OVERTIME
Since last season, NIU has gone 5-1 in overtime games. In the four wins, the Huskies have outdone their opponents by 6.9 points per game. Most recently, NIU beat Buffalo 93-88 after trailing by as much as 16 in the second half. The Huskies also defeated Loyola in OT this season, downing the Ramblers on the road, 74-65.
Marke Freeman has been creating for her teammates at a high rate over the last seven games. After averaging 2.4 assists for the first nine games of the year, she’s dished out 49 assists in the last eight match-ups (5.4 per game). That total includes a career-best nine-assist night against Toledo. Her rebounding is also up, from 3.7 to 5.8 per game.
HEARTS ON SLEEVES
Northern Illinois has overcome three second-half deficits of nine or more this season. The Huskies trailed to Buffalo with 13 minutes left, and came back to win by five in overtime. NIU outscored UIC by 16 over the last nine minutes to extinguish the Flames by seven. The Huskies were down by 14 with 12 minutes left at Chicago State and came back to win by five. NIU also held off a charging Loyola team to win on the road by 10 in overtime.
HAY-WOOD YA BLOCK A SHOT?
Freshman forward Shaakira Haywood has wasted no time making herself known to players who venture into the paint. Haywood ranks 12th in the MAC in total blocked shots with six. The rookie swatted three attempts from Western Illinois, blocked consecutive tries by IUPUI, and had two key rejections in the win over Buffalo.