FINAL SCORE: TOLEDO 64, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 55
Furious second-half comeback falls just short
as NIU Women's Basketball loses 64-55 to Toledo
DeKALB, IL--- Northern Illinois University battled back from a 13-point
second half deficit and actually tied the game with 5:02 to play,
but couldn't hang on as the University of Toledo used a late flurry
to grab a 64-55 victory in Mid-American Conference women's basketball
action Wednesday (Feb. 16).
With the loss---its seventh straight---NIU falls to 6-17 overall
on the season with a 3-9 mark in conference play. Toledo improves
to 12-11 with an 8-4 MAC ledger.
UT's Danielle Bishop---who led all scorers on the night with 25
points---hit a jumper with 18:02 remaining to give the Rockets that
13-point cushion at 38-25. The Huskies slowly chipped away, using
back-to-back three-pointers from Stephanie Raymond (Rockford,
IL / Lutheran) to cut the lead to five (48-43) at the 7:53 mark.
Junior Keishonda Williamson (Detroit, MI / Lutheran) made
it a three-point game (51-48) by putting back a Raymond miss with
6:02 left before Raymond drove the lane again and made an impossible
spinning lay-up while also drawing a UT foul. The sophomore's ensuing
free throw not only completed the hard-way three-point play, but
tied the game at 51-51.
"I'm really proud of the way this team battled back tonight,"
NIU head coach Carol Hammerle explained. "These players
never kept fighting. They played hard the whole game. Stephanie
hit a couple of big shots for us, and we had to fight extremely
hard to get back into the game."
As quickly as NIU had turned the momentum, however, it got taken
right back from them. The Huskie offense went scoreless for the
next 3:59 while Toledo put together a 13-0 run. Bishop scored eight
points during the streak including a three-pointer that capped it
with 1:27 remaining. By the time Rachel Sillar (Plainfield,
IL / Plainfield) split a pair of free throws with 1:03 left on the
clock, the visitors had a 64-52 lead.
"We just didn't have an answer for Bishop tonight," Hammerle
lamented. "Give her credit. She did a little bit of everything.
When we took away her open looks from outside, she started taking
it to the glass and scoring."
A late Raymond trey posted the game's final margin. Raymond rebounded
from a scoreless first half to finish the night with 14 points.
The Rockford native also notched five steals and dished out four
assists. Jamie Wilson (Reynoldsburg, OH / Reynoldsburg) led
the way for the Huskies with 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The
redshirt junior also nabbed seven rebounds, blocked a shot, and
did not commit a single turnover in 30 minutes of play.
As a team, however, NIU did not fare so well from the field, shooting
just .379 (22-of-58). The Huskies suffered through a 12:51 span
without a field goal from the middle of the first half until just
after halftime. The drought allowed UT to engineer a 15-2 run that
effectively erased an early 21-16 Northern Illinois lead.
NIU led the entire way up to that point, scoring 10 of the game's
first 12 points sparked by three-pointers from Williamson and Mary
Basic (Lemont, IL / Chicago Heights Marian Catholic). Even though
the Rockets were able to fight back within one, back-to-back buckets
from Basic and Sillar pushed the cushion back to five (21-16) with
11:12 remaining. UT took over from there, holding the Huskies scoreless
until two Jennifer Uptmor (Centerville, OH / Centerville)
free throws with 26 seconds left before halftime, and Toledo went
to the break with a 34-23 lead.
Northern Illinois heads back out on the road looking to snap its
season-long losing streak with a trip to Ohio University Saturday
(Feb. 19). Tip-off between the Huskies and Bobcats is scheduled
for 1:00 p.m. (CST).
Wilson scored in double-figures (17 points) for the fourth consecutive
game. It's the longest such streak of the redshirt junior's career.
She has led the team in scoring in three of the last four games.
--- NIU hit
6-of-7 free throws (.857) Wednesday (Feb. 16). It's the sixth time
that the MAC's leading free-throw shooting team (.738) has shot
80 percent or better from the line this season.