Women's basketball closes exhibition slate with 99-50 romp over Gee's Clippers



November 16, 2002


DeKALB, IL---Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA) led five Huskies in double figures to pace the Northern Illinois University women's basketball team to a 99-50 romp over Gee's Clippers in exhibition play here Saturday (Nov. 16).

Boeding tallied a game-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Jennifer Youngblood (Rock Island) collected 11 points and 13 boards as NIU prepared for its season-opener against the University of Wisconsin on Friday (Nov. 22). Kristan Knake (Marengo) added 13 points in just 20 minutes as Huskie coach Carol Hammerle cleared the bench early in the one-sided victory.

"I think we're ready for the season to start," Hammerle said. "We still have a lot of things to work on, but it was nice to see this team adjust to the competition. The team we played has a lot of good athletes, but our teamwork was impressive and we took care of business defensively. We were able to use the defense and turn that into points."

Northern Illinois used a 13-0 run to take control early, with Lindsay Secrest (Bloomfield, IN) hitting a three-pointer to give the Huskies a 20-8 lead seven minutes into the contest. A Moya Baylis free throw ended a 4:49 drought by the Clippers, but the Huskies raced off to another extended run, building a 34-12 lead on Youngblood's seven-footer with 8:28 to play in the half. Back-to-back buckets from Boeding closed the half, sending NIU to the locker room with a 55-24 advantage.

The Huskies shot a blistering 70.4 percent (19-of-27) from the field in the opening 20 minutes while limiting Gee's Clippers to just 34.5 percent (20-of-57). NIU also out-rebounded the visitors 22-9 before the break and forced 11 turnovers.

Northern Illinois continued the attack in the second half, leading by as many as 54 points when sophomore guard Alyssa Verdegan (Glen Flora, WI / Flambeau) canned back-to-back jumpers to stretch the margin to 95-41 with 5:30 to play.

Verdegan, who scored just five points in 18 appearances as a freshman, was eight-of-nine from the field for 17 points and four rebounds Saturday. Secrest rounded out the quintet of double-figure scorers with 14 points on five-of-seven accuracy including a pair of three-pointers.

As a team, NIU finished at 64.8 percent (35-of-54) from the field while Gee's made only 20 of 57 tries (35.1 percent). The Huskies dominated the glass with a 46-16 rebounding advantage, limiting the visitors to only five offensive rebounds in 40 opportunities.

"We shot the ball extremely well so they didn't have many chances for defensive rebounds," Hammerle noted. "But we were able to control them and limit their second-chance opportunities. Also, it was good to see that we did get 11 offensive boards."

Sophomore guard Rachel Sillar (Plainfield) had four points and dished out eight assists, while Boeding posted five of NIU's 25 set-ups.

"I'm feeling comfortable in the post," said the six-foot Boeding, who played on the perimeter for the past two seasons but was forced into the paint after season-ending knee injuries to Jamie Wilson (Reynoldsburg, OH) and Elizabeth Strobel (Merrill, WI). "When coach Hammerle moved me there, I took it as a challenge but I had always played the post in high school, so I'm just doing what I can."

"I really liked our balance, both in terms of scoring and defensively," Hammerle said. "I have a lot of options with this team, and I feel like we're in a position to do a lot of good things. We were able to get everybodsy in and try some different combinations today."

Former Huskie coach Jane Albright makes her return to DeKalb when Wisconsin comes to the Convocation Center for Friday's 7:05 p.m. showdown to start NIU's "Big Weekend." Albright coached Northern Illinois to 188 victories and four NCAA tournament appearances during her (1984-94) tenure in DeKalb before taking the UW post.

-30- -- Copy by Robert Hester



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