November 22, 2002
FINAL SCORE: NORTHERN
ILLINOIS 49, WISCONSIN 47
Illinois University officially opened a new era Friday (Nov. 22), with
the Huskie women's basketball team playing its first game in the new Convocation
Center. Monique Davis (Columbus, OH / Marion-Franklin) wasted little time
in providing the first lasting memory.
The junior guard hit
a fall-away nine-footer with 2.3 seconds left as
NIU defeated 2002 NCAA tournament entry University of Wisconsin, 49-47,
in the season-opener for both teams. The Badgers used a 14-2 run to take
the lead in the final minute before the Huskies scored the last four points
of the night.
"I was looking
to go to the hoop and draw a foul," Davis said of her winning shot.
"Then they stepped up and I had to get the shot off, and fortunately
it went in."
(Rock Island) led all scorers with 19 points and grabbed a game-best nine
rebounds for the victors. Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA) chipped in with
11 points for Northern Illinois while Leah Hefte's 11 points paced the
Badgers while Kristi Seeger added ten.
NIU built a 43-34
advantage on two Kristan Knake (Marengo) free throws with 7:03 remaining,
but Wisconsin scored nine consecutive points while holding the hosts scoreless
for more than four minutes. Hefte hit a three-pointer to cut the margin
to 43-41 at the 5:36 mark, then canned a running six-footer to even the
score with 3:26 left as UW pulled even for the first time since 2-2.
Lindsay Secrest (Bloomfield,
IN) found Youngblood open for a lay-up, but Lello Gebisa answered with
a pair of free throws with 1:33 on the clock. Following a Huskie turnover,
Seeger canned two more free throws at the 46-second mark to give UW its
first and only lead of the night.
Boeding matched that
run at the line by hitting a pair with 26 seconds left and a Youngblood
steal gave the Huskies a final shot. Davis drove past a Badger defender
for the running bank shot. A desperation shot at the buzzer fell short,
lifting the crowd of 3,079 to its feet.
proud of this team," NIU coach Carol Hammerle said. "I felt
the key to this game was keeping Wisconsin out of the paint. Their strength
is their inside game, and my players did an incredible job of shutting
down their inside game. I'm pleased with our defensive effort."
shot just 24 percent (seven-of-29) in the second half and 32.7 percent
(18-of-55) for the game but limited UW to 25.9 percent (14-of-54) accuracy
from the floor. Stephanie Rich missed all 12 of her tries from the field
while enduring pressure from Knake and Davis.
The Badgers started
three players at six-foot-three or taller while Northern Illinois had
just one starter---Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA)---at six-foot. The visitors
out-rebounded NIU 45-38 but could not take advantage of their opportunities,
owning just a 16-13 edge in second-chance points.
"This was our
first game and we wanted to make a statement," Hammerle said. "This
is a big win for the program and a great way to open the Convocation Center.
They are a Big Ten team. I have a lot of respect for (Wisconsin coach)
Jane Albright and everything she has accomplished, both here and at Wisconsin."
Albright coached the
Huskies to four NCAA tournaments during her (1984-94) tenure at Northern
Illinois. She took the UW job after the 1993-94 campaign and is still
the program's winningest coach with a 188-110 mark in DeKalb.
led throughout the contest, opening a 29-20 advantage with 1:17 left in
the first half on Youngblood's three-point play and jumper on consecutive
possessions. Youngblood tallied 14 of her points in the first 20 minutes
and anchored a defensive effort which limited the Badgers to seven field
goals and 23 percent shooting to claim a 29-22 advantage at the break.
faces its second consecutive NCAA tournament team Monday (Nov. 25) when
the Huskies visit Arizona State University. Tip-off is scheduled for 6
p.m. (MST) at Tempe's Wells Fargo Arena.
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