NIU Women's Basketball Team Back on the Road to Face off Against Akron

GO HUSKIES Jesie Wilcox is averaging 10.8 points per game.
Jesie Wilcox is averaging 10.8 points per game.

Feb. 2, 2008

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DEKALB, Ill.-The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team returns to the road this weekend for a match up with Akron on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Akron game is the first of a two-game road swing for the Huskies. NIU heads into Akron looking to build on its 77-74 victory over Miami (OH) last weekend in Oxford.

"It was huge, it taught our team a lesson," NIU head coach Carol Owens said of the victory at Miami (OH). "When you are down, you are not out of it. We had to get some stops, we changed up our defense against Jackson and that ignited us. We got transition points. It was a fun game to see our team mature in that way. As we head into this road stretch we understand better what it takes to compete on the road and how to control the things we can control. We may not shoot well, but there are things we can control."

Northern (8-12, 4-3) enters Sunday's game riding a three-game winning streak after the Huskies defeated Buffalo 77-63 Thursday night in the Convocation Center. NIU had a solid offensive performance, with four Huskies finishing in double figures. Leading the way for Northern Illinois was Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West).

The junior guard went 7-12 from the field, 3-4 from beyond the arc and 5-6 from the free throw line en route to a game-high 22 points. Whitney Lowe also continued her solid play, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds.

"Jessie is doing a great job from the perimeter and getting to the basket," Owens said. "She has the ability to get to the free throw line. Her versatility helps. She's a natural leader. She's always talking on the defensive end. When she broke her hand, we missed her more than we realized."

Northern Illinois holds a 15-4 lead in the all-time series with Akron, and have won the last four meetings. The last time these two met was in the opening round of the 2007 MAC Women's Basketball Tournament, with the Huskies winning that contest 69-56. Becky Smith (Janesville, Wis./Parker) and Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) each scored nine points. NIU won the regular season match up, 81-70, (Jan. 20, 2007) in the Convocation Center. The last Zips victory came Feb. 10, 2004 when Akron slipped past the Huskies, 43-42, at home.

Tip off for the Huskies game with Akron is set for 1 p.m. CST. Fans can follow all the action with Bill Baker on 1360 AM WLBK.



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