Feb. 3, 2009
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DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's basketball looks get back on the winning track when it plays host to Akron Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
"We always talk about how one game is no bigger than the other." NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "Akron is a big game. Every game is a big game. We rebounded from the Toledo loss.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to move on. We are going to face adversity, and we just have to learn from it."
Tip off for the Huskies and Zips is 7 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live on 1360 WLBK with Andy Garcia on the call and on the Internet via Gametracker at www.niuhuskies.com.
The Huskies (10-10, 5-2) are looking to bounce back from a 76-70 overtime loss to Bowling Green Saturday at the Convo. Four players finished in double figures for Northern Illinois with Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) leading the way with 19 points. Sophomore Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) posted her second-straight double double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 boards.
Akron (8-12, 3-4) comes to town after edging Toledo, 64-62, at home Saturday. Kara Murphy, who leads the MAC in scoring, led all scorers with 22 points. They are 12th in the league in scoring offense, but fourth in scoring defense.
The Huskie defense has played very well since the beginning of conference play. NIU has held MAC foes to 38.5 percent shooting, down from its season average of 42 percent. Northern Illinois is third in rebounding offense and second in rebounding defense and rebounding margin.
"Since we've started conference, we've really settled in and concentrating on our defense," Owens said. "We've been rebounding well and not giving teams other opportunities."
Northern Illinois has won 15 of the 20 meetings between the two schools, winning seven of the last nine meetings. The last Huskie victory came Mar. 4, 2007 at the 2007 MAC Championships when NIU won its first round game with the Zips, 69-58. Akron snapped a four-game losing streak to NIU, winning last season's meeting at Akron on Super Bowl Sunday.
Five Zips finished in double figures as Akron posted a 78-71 victory over NIU Feb. 3, 2008. Keyla Snowden led the way for Akron, scoring a team-high 17 points. NIU's Whitney Lowe led all scorers with a career-high 26 points, going 9-of-18 from the field. The Zips outshot Northern Illinois 47.4 percent to 37.5 and shot 94.4 percent from the free throw line.
Wednesday night is the third night of the Complex Challenge. The floors in the various residence halls on campus will compete with each other and the floor with the highest attendance percentage will win pizza delivered to their floor by the women's basketball coaching staff. Wednesday night is Neptune Night. In addition to the Complex Challenge, fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for $25.