8 , 2005
Surge Propels Huskie Women's Basketball Squad to a 'C.O.' Exhibition
it wasn't just ironic, but simply fitting. The Northern Illinois
University women's basketball team began the Carol Owens era with
an exhibition victory that matched the new coach's former No. 31
81-50 triumph Tuesday (Nov. 8) night over Lewis University required
a calm halftime pep talk and a strong second-half surge paced by
preseason All-Mid-American Conference selection Stephanie Raymond
(Rockford / Lutheran). The junior guard had just one point in the
first half as the Division III Flyers stayed within six points,
27-21, at intermission.
then began the second half with a 23-3 surge during which time Raymond
netted 15 of her eventual game-high 18 points. After that, it was
just a question of what the final margin would be as NIU enjoyed
leads of 30 or more on six ocassions.
me the most was the second half," Owens said. "They came
out nervous, but we got the kinks out in the second half. I think
they know they're better than that first half. It certainly wasn't
the team I've seen in practice. Steph started looking for her shot
and we started looking into the post."
literally hit their stride in the second half with the uptempo approach
featuring a number of players as Raymond would be joined by three
teammates in double figures. Junior Mary Basic (Lemont / Chicago
Heights Marian Catholic) plus freshmen Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, WI)
and Becky Smith (Janesville, WI / Parker) all chipped in 10 points
with another trio just shy of double figures. Kristin Wiener (Apple
Valley, MN / Academy of Holy Angels) had nine points and eight boards
while both Jennifer Uptmor (Centerville, OH) and Nikita Odom (Hazel
Crest / Country Club Hills Hillcrest) added eight apiece. Odom also
snared a game-high 10 rebounds * eight of which were off the defensive
a lot of opportunities, we just fly. I love it," Raymond said
of the Huskies' uptempo attack after admitting she was encouraged
to get more aggressive for the second half. "Coach O wasn't
in my face or anything, she just said I need to be more aggressive.
Coach E.C. (Hill) said in the lockerroom that I also needed to pick
up my defense."
a game-high four steals and also registered one of NIU's five blocks.
As a team, Northern Illinois out-rebounded Lewis 54-37 and shot
a solid 56.8 percent (21-of-37) in the second half. The Flyers ended
the contest hitting just 25 percent (16-of-64) from the floor.
definitely a much better conditioned team," Basic added in
answer to what's changed from last year. "It's so much fun
and we've got so many more players who can rotate in to keep the
tempo going. I definitely think our freshmen played well."
have a much stiffer challenge ahead on Friday (Nov. 11) at 7:05
p.m. when St. Xavier University comes to the Convocation Center
for the next exhibition.