November 8, 2002
ILLINOIS 70, CHICAGO CHALLENGERS 59 (EXHIBITION)
DeKALB, IL---A new
building, a new beginning. Senior forward Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA)
hit nine of 11 shots from the field for a game-high 22 points as the Northern
Illinois University women's basketball team opened the Convocation Center
era with a 70-59 exhibition victory over the Chicago Challengers here
Friday (Nov. 8).
just 3.5 points per game last season---surpassed her "official"
career-high of 19 points, set in the first outing of her sophomore campaign.
The Fort Madison, IA, native was four-of-five at the free throw line and
also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in 33 minutes.
Boeding had played
on the perimeter for the past two years but season-ending knee injuries
to Elizabeth Strobel (Merrill, WI) and Jamie Wilson (Reynoldsburg, OH)
forced Boeding back into the paint. The six-foot senior joins junior Jennifer
Youngblood (Rock Island) as the team's only veterans in the post.
"It's nice to
have a game like this, to build confidence," Boeding said. "Especially
for the first time after moving to a post position. It's a good feeling
to take from this game."
"My top objective
was to play everybody, get them in before halftime," Northern Illinois
coach Carol Hammerle said, noting that eight of the ten Huskies dressed
for action played at least 12 minutes. "I still wanted to win, but
the goal was to focus on our defense and try to make it part of our offense.
We're getting better at that."
limited the Challengers to 33 percent (eight-of-24) shooting and forced
13 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes but Northern Illinois could not
get on track offensively. The Huskies managed only 32 percent (nine-of-28)
accuracy and was held without a field goal in the final 4:25 before intermission
as the visitors claimed a 25-22 advantage at the break. Boeding had eight
points for NIU while fellow senior Kristan Knake (Marengo) tallied nine.
"In the first
half we did good things defensively, but not on offense," Hammerle
noted. "We were a little tense, a little nervous. At the end of the
first half, we got a little sloppy and careless. In the second half, we
calmed down and played basketball."
The Huskie post players
provided a lift in the second half as Boeding, Youngblood and freshman
center Jennifer Uptmor (Centerville, OH) combined for 30 points in the
final 20 minutes. Youngblood had just two points in the first half but
added 12 after the break while Uptmor tallied five points, six rebounds
and three blocked shots in her collegiate debut.
didn't play like a freshman tonight. She played well defensively, and
she was very cool. This was a very tough game but she handled the physical
putback with 12:31 remaining pulled Northern Illinois even at 33-33 and
Boeding's basket 1:40 later capped a 12-3 run as the hosts took a 39-36
advantage. The Challengers bounced back in front, 42-41, on a Marilyn
Bishop jumper before Uptmor had four points in a two-minute stretch to
put NIU ahead to stay. The freshman drew an intentional foul on Mfon Udoka
with 7:44 left, sparking the Huskie defense.
The visitors climbed
back to within a single point (53-52) with 4:45 left but consecutive baskets
from Youngblood and a Knake putback stretched the margin to seven points
with 3:23 to play and the Huskies were not threatened the rest of the
way. Northern Illinois hit seven of eight free throws in the final 76
seconds to put the game out of reach.
NIU shot 63 percent (17-of-27) in the second half and 47 percent for the
game, overcoming a 37-34 disadvantage on the boards. The Huskies also
forced 24 turnovers.
Knake finished with
11 points, five rebounds and three assists for the victors, while junior
Lindsay Secrest (Bloomfield, IN) added eight points. Former DePaul University
standout Udoka led the Challengers with a "double-double" featuring
18 points and 11 rebounds with Curita Bonner registering 12 points.
concludes the exhibition schedule next Saturday (Nov. 16) with a 2:05
p.m. matinee versus Gee's Clippers. Then it's the season-opener on Nov.
22 when former Huskie coach Jane Albright returns to DeKalb as the University
of Wisconsin visits the Convocation Center for a 7:05 p.m. contest.
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