March 10, 2009
CLEVELAND - Three members of the Northern Illinois University women's basketball team were selected to the All-Mid-American Conference Team by the league's 12 head coaches the conference announced today.
Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) headlines the trio after being named Third Team All-MAC, while Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) earned honorable mention honors. Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) impressed league coaches in her first season in the MAC, earning the Sixth Man of the Year award.
"I am pleased with our young ladies and what they've accomplished this year," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "Those awards are a compliment to how hard they worked and how the team has helped them put them in the position they're in."
Wilcox turned in one of the best seasons of her career, leading the Huskies in scoring with 316 points, averaging 10.9 points a game this season and is five points shy of 1,000 for her career. She scored 24 points Saturday at Western Michigan in the regular-season finale, tying a career high. Wilcox was named MAC West Player of the Week after scoring a team-high 20 points against Ball State (1/21/09) and turning in a 19-point effort at Ohio (1/24/09). The senior leads NIU in free throw shooting, hitting 89.7 percent from the charity stripe.
"I was pleased with her leadership," Owens said of Wilcox. "It wasn't about scoring. She wanted to have a good conference season and she did that."
Ellis has blossomed in her second season with NIU. The 6-3 center leads the team and is second in the league in rebounding, averaging 8.7 boards a game with 251 rebounds on the season and has 415 for her career. She is tied for second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.4 points a game, scoring 274 points this season. She scored a career-high 19 points against Ohio, going 9-of-14 from the field. Ellis posted six double-digit scoring performances in the Huskies' first six games and has 13 on the season. She grabbed a career-high 22 boards against Wagner at the Seton Hall Classic and was named to the all-tournament team, averaging 12.5 points and 14 rebounds in the two games. Ellis posted six double-doubles on the season and has eight for her career.
Freeman is tied as the Huskies' second-leading scorer, scoring 274 points and is averaging 9.4 points a game coming off the bench. She scored a career-high 19 points in the Huskies' 85-79 win over UIC (12/20/08) and has led the team in scoring four times. The redshirt sophomore dished out a career-high seven assists against Ball State (1/21/09); and she leads the team and is 14th in the MAC in assists with 97. She also leads the Huskies in steals with 36 swiping a career-high four steals at Western Illinois in the second game of the season.
"The improvement Ebony has made from her freshman year to this year has been great," she said. "Marke creates for not only herself but for other. I felt she was most deserving of that award."
The Huskies tip-off the 2009 Kraft MAC Tournament Wednesday afternoon when Northern Illinois takes on Buffalo at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. CST.