Basketball Falls Short in 73-67 OT Tussle With Wisconsin-Green Bay
DeKALB, IL -
a gallant comeback to force overtime, the Northern Illinois University
women's basketball squad came up on the short end of a 73-67 overtime
tangle with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Sunday (Nov.
20) at the NIU Convocation Center.
League preseason favorite Phoenix, who are gunning for a fifth straight
NCAA tourney this year, repeatedly capitalized on 32 turnovers by
the Huskies in order to even their season ledger at 1-1. The Huskies,
who were outscored 11-5 in the extra five-minute session, saw their
record level off at 1-1 after Friday's season-opening 67-62 victory
over North Dakota State University.
Green Bay showed their NCAA experience in the second half and in
the overtime," NIU coach Carol Owens said. "I'm very proud
of how the team battled back and took a really good team to overtime.
Statistically, we did better in every category but turnovers. I
believe they got 30 points in transition off our turnovers. Obviously,
that's way too many, but it's something we can and will work on."
working in Northern Illinois' favor early on as the Huskies capitalized
on some initial cold shooting by UWGB to claim a series of eight-point
leads with the last being an 18-10 advantage midway through the
opening half. However, UWGB's Phoenix went on a 12-1 run en route
to an intermission edge of 32-30.
glad to come away with a win," Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Kevin
Borseth said. "Our defense played pretty well and we tried
to apply as much pressure as we could."
Huskies committed a whopping 17 turnovers in the opening half, that
figure was trimmed only slightly to 15 for the final 20 minutes
of regulation plus the five minutes of overtime.
pressure us, but we need to be more confident with the ball,"
NIU's Kristin Wiener (Apple Valley, MN / Academy of Holy Angels)
insisted. "That's something we simply need to take control
of from our standpoint."
Bay appeared to be comfortably in control with 5:46 to play after
Nicole Soulis hit a lay-up to give the Phoenix their largest lead
of nine, 56-47. However, that's when Wiener and sophomore reserve
Whitney Lowe (Bushnell / Bushnell-Prairie City) helped spark a Huskie
comeback. Wiener hit two sets of free throws before Stephanie Raymond
(Rockford / Lutheran) nailed a jumper and Lowe followed her own-miss
rebound putback with a left wing three-pointer to tie the contest
had a single point in the opening half, hit one of two free throws
before Soulis put UWGB back on top, 60-59, by hitting a pair from
the charity stripe. Raymond hit a clutch jumper in the lane for
a 61-60 NIU lead with 40 seconds only to have the Phoenix's Kayla
Groh drive for a go-ahead lay-up, 62-61, with 24 seconds left.
With 8.4 seconds
left, Wiener went to the free throw line with Wisconsin-Green Bay
using a full timeout prior to a first free throw miss and 30-second
timeout before a made second attempt for a 62-all contest. The Phoenix
got a lay-up by Groh to start the OT and then Groh cashed in on
two free throws as Raymond fouled out with 3:01 to play. A Berglin
steal and another Groh lay-up stretched it to six and that grew
to eight on a Soulis jumper. Soulis and Berglin both finished with
19 while Groh added 16 for the Phoenix.
Wiener led NIU
with a game-high 20 points, just missing a double-double with nine
rebounds in helping NIU enjoy a 41-22 edge on the boards. Lowe came
off the bench to hit a career-best 14 while Raymond finished with
getting there and once again there were bright spots. Whitney's
14 points and six boards off the bench was great, I thought Kristin
with 20 points and nine rebounds, she played her heart out,"
Owens said. "I also thought Jennifer Uptmor (Centerville, OH)
did a lot that doesn't show up statistically, outside of her (team-best)
with two home games, the Huskies now hit the road for three contests
that begin a mini-state tour. Northern Illinois journeys to Macomb
on Tuesday (Nov. 22) night for a 7 p.m. contest against a Western
Illinois University squad which ran its homecourt winning streak
to 40 consecutive with a 96-59 blowout of Hannibal-LaGrange College.
NIU visits Illinois State University on Saturday (Nov. 26) before
a Nov. 29 trip to the University of Illinois. The Huskies are back
in DeKalb on Dec. 2 for a home date with the University of Illinois-Chicago
before visiting DePaul University to cap the in-state swing.