NIU Women's Basketball Tips Off 2008-09 Season With Exhibition

GO HUSKIES Jessie Wilcox embarks on her final season at NIU.
Jessie Wilcox embarks on her final season at NIU.

Nov. 9, 2008

DEKALB, Ill.- The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team tips off its 2008-09 season when the Huskies plays host to St. Xavier University in its lone exhibition game of the season, Monday at the Convocation Center. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

The Huskies enter the 2008-09 campaign with a veteran group, returning four starters and nine letterwinners. Eight of the nine letterwinners started at least one game last season, with three of the eight starting at least 20 games and two others starting at least 10 games. All that experience returning to floor has made for a productive preseason camp, and NIU head coach Carol Owens feels her squad is prepared for the upcoming season.

"After the final game last year, our team knew what needed to be accomplished," Owens said. "This has been one of the smoothest pre-seasons we have ever had. These past two weeks, I have challenged the team to develop their identity. We have done that, and I think we are headed in the right direction."

Northern Illinois returns three of its four leading scorers from last season, with junior Kylie York (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) leading the way with 10.9 points a game in 2007-08. Senior Jessie Wilcox (Oshkosh, Wis./West) also averaged in double figures last year with 10.3 points a game. Redshirt senior Shari' Welton (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood), who led the team in steals with 29, averaged 8.9 points a game in her first season with NIU.

Monday is the first of two home games for NIU this week. The Huskies begin the regular season Friday, when NIU welcomes the Jaguars of IUPUI to the Convocation Center Friday. Game time is 7 p.m. A season ticket package for both the men's and women's basketball teams is available for $135 at or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 815-752-6800.