ILLINOIS 55, WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE 53
Scott (Reynoldsburg, OH) scored a game-high 16 points and Lindsay
Secrest (Bloomfield, IN) added 12 to lead Northern Illinois past
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 55-53 in non-conference women's basketball action
Saturday (Dec. 6).
snapped a two-game losing streak overall, improving to 3-2 after
defeating the Panthers for the first time since January 4, 1997.
UWM---which had won five consecutive meetings versus Northern Illinois---dropped
to 3-4 on the season despite 14 points and 14 rebounds from Maria
limited Wisconsin-Milwaukee to 28.8 percent (17-of-59) shooting
including a one-for-17 performance from three-point range. Jennifer
Youngblood (Rock Island) grabbed 13 rebounds for the victors.
about what we needed to do (after consecutive losses to Western
Illinois and Kansas State), and that was controlling the offensive
boards and taking care of the basketball," Huskie coach Carol
Hammerle said. "In the past, Wisconsin-Milwaukee has outworked
us and outhustled us. We didn't want that to be the case today,
and fortunately we were able to sustain things at the end."
Scott hit five
of six shots from the field and six of seven at the free throw line
while also collecting eight rebounds for the Huskies. The sophomore
center's three-point play gave NIU a 49-38 advantage with 7:08 remaining,
but that proved to be the final basket for the hosts. Two Stephanie
Smith (Huntley / Hampshire) free throws kept the margin at 53-42
with five minutes to play.
long jumper---UWM's lone trey of the game---trimmed the deficit
to single digits (53-45) but the Huskies' defense kept Wisconsin-Milwaukee
at bay. Scott canned a pair of free throws to give NIU a 55-47 advantage
with 1:21 left, but Viall answered with a rebound putback 19 seconds
later. Johnson added two free throws at the 0:19.8 mark and Nichole
Drummond sank a lay-up in the last second to provide the final score.
a little frustrating in that we extended the lead to 12, but then
we made some poor decisions and came up short on our shots,"
Hammerle said. "But I was happy with our aggressiveness, and
our defense was solid."
opened the game with a 7-0 run as Secrest buried a short jumper
and three-pointer, but UWM scored eight of the next nine points.
Molly O'Brien's basket gave the Panthers a short-lived lead at 16-14
and the teams battled through nine ties and six lead changes before
Scott tallied five points in the last 53 seconds of the half to
give the Huskies a 29-26 advantage at intermission.
shot 55 percent (12-of-22) from the field in the opening 20 minutes
as Scott led all scorers with 11 at the break. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
was 11-of-31 from the floor and missed all eight of its tries behind
the arc, but remained in contention as the Huskies missed six of
ten free throws in the first half.
Smith hit back-to-back
three-pointers early in the second stanza to stretch the margin
to 38-30 with 3:35 gone. Youngblood's 11-foot jumper pushed the
difference into double digits for the first time, giving NIU a 44-34
cushion with 9:38 to play.
shot only 21 percent from the field in the second half and missed
nine shots in a row before Teri Huff's nine-footer at the 8:42 mark
ended a 7:12 stretch without a field goal. The Panthers connected
on 14 of 18 free throws after the break, but Viall was the lone
UWM player in double figures.
in trying to hold Viall under 20 points," Hammerle said, noting
the Panthers' senior center had reached that mark in five consecutive
games before Saturday. "She's an awesome post player. Holding
her to 14 was a good job by our post defenders."
a game we've talked about since we played Wisconsin-Milwaukee last
year (a 69-64 victory as UWM held off a late Huskie rally in Milwaukee,
WI)," Youngblood explained. "We hadn't beaten them in
our time here, so the seniors were looking forward to this game."
takes time off for final exams before returning to action a week
from Monday (Dec. 15), when the Huskies travel to Cape Girardeau,
MO, for a 7:30 p.m. contest versus Southeast Missouri State.
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by Robert Hester