Jan. 30, 2008
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DEKALB, Ill.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team is back home to play host to MAC East rival Buffalo in the Convocation Center Thursday night.
The Huskies (7-12, 3-3) enter their match up with the Bulls riding a two-game winning streak after NIU won it's first road game of the season, defeating Miami (OH) 77-74 Saturday. Saturday's game marked a couple of firsts for this season's Huskies. Not only was it the Huskies first road win, NIU posted its first victory of the season when trailing at halftime.
"We've felt our defense was key in us being successful on the road," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "I think we executed our strategy pretty well on the defensive end and I believe it gave us confidence on the offensive end of the court."
Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) had the best game of her young career going 8-12 from the field and 7-11 from three-point territory, scoring a game- and career-high 27 points. York went 6-6 from beyond the arc in the second half to key the Huskie victory. Her seven threes ties her with NIU greats Stephanie Raymond and Denise Dove for most threes in a game by a Huskie.
While York stood out with her 27 points, she didn't do it alone. Becky Smith (Janesville, Wis./Parker) scored 10 points, while Whitney Lowe (Bushnell, Ill./Prairie City) and Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood) each added eight. Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) had seven points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) and Ebony Ellis Joliet, Ill. Joliet Township) combined for 11 boards.
"Kylie had a really good game. Jessie had eight assists, we had a lot of contributions from every body from Mauvolyene and Ebony rebounding, to Becky having a really good game. Shari' did a really good defensive job in the second half on Amanda Jackson," Owens said.
Buffalo (10-9, 3-3) enters the Convocation Center having dropped three of its last four games. The Bulls lost to Eastern Michigan, 74-71, Saturday at home. The Bulls made a late run at the Eagles but came up short. Buffalo had three players finish in double figures.
"They're a team that has a really good post player and some shooters we have to worry about," she said. "We just have to play very good defense. We definitely have to rebound. They're a very good offensive rebounding team."
Northern Illinois holds a 9-1 advantage in the all-time series, and have won the last six meetings. Last season, the Huskies left Buffalo with a 58-53 victory. The last time the two played in DeKalb, ironically was Jan. 31, 2006. It took triple overtime for the Huskies to win the contest, 81-72. Jessie Wilcox, who was only a freshman at the time scored 16 points for NIU. The lone Buffalo victory, a 50-39 decision, came Jan. 23, 2002 at the Convo.
Tip off between the Bulls and Huskies is set for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. For tickets, contact the NIU ticket office at 815-752-6800 or log on to www.niuhuskies.com. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.