Boeding, Youngblood lead NIU women's basketball past Illinois State, 80-48

GO HUSKIES
GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

December 7, 2002

FINAL: NORTHERN ILLINOIS 80, ILLINOIS STATE 48

Box Score

DeKALB, IL---Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA) recorded her first career "double-double" with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Jennifer Youngblood (Rock Island) scored a game-high 21 points as Northern Illinois defeated Illinois State 80-48 in non-conference women's basketball action here Saturday (Dec. 7).

The Huskies shot 56 percent (18-of-32) from the field in building a
46-22 halftime lead and cruised to the victory, leveling their season record at 3-3. Illinois State dropped to 1-5 despite 17 points from Taren O'Brien.

Boeding had ten points during a 21-0 run as Northern Illinois took control. Her six-footer put the hosts in front, 23-6, before Jaci McCormack canned an 11-footer to end a 7:50 scoreless drought by the Redbirds. Youngblood and Boeding controlled the paint, combining for 31 first-half points and Keishonda Williamson (Detroit, MI / Martin Luther King hit a three-pointer just before the horn to send NIU to the locker room with a 24-point advantage.

"I'm really proud of my team and the way we executed today," Northern Illinois coach Carol Hammerle said. "We came out and played fantastic defense in the first half. I was really disappointed after our game at Wisconsin-Milwaukee (a 69-64 loss on Wednesday), and we worked strictly on the defense in the last two practices. But today we executed very well."

"When we get stops on defense, that definitely helps our confidence on offense," said Youngblood, who also grabbed eight rebounds. "We were much more intense at both ends of the court in the first half."

The margin remained at 20 (55-35) following a Stephanie Smith (Huntley / Hampshire) three-pointer at the 13:09 mark, but Illinois State scored 11 consecutive points to cut the deficit to a single digit. Erin Keeney split a pair of free throws with 8:15 remaining to bring ISU within 55-46 but the visitors could get no closer as the Huskies held the Redbirds without a field goal the rest of the way. Charity tosses from O'Brien and Stacey White were all Illinois State could muster as Northern Illinois closed the game on a 25-2 run.

"In the second half, we didn't take care of the ball," Hammerle said, noting NIU's ten second-half turnovers. "We need to do a better job of that, but it's hard to maintain that intensity when you're up 24 points. We need to develop that killer instinct. Today we let them back in the game but then we turned it up and made stops. They got to 48 points (with 6:18 left) and we shut them down after that.

Northern Illinois out-rebounded the Redbirds 24-8 in the first half and 47-22 for the game. NIU had 23 offensive rebounds, leading to 22 second-chance points as Boeding and Youngblood's dominance inside produced a 32-8 scoring advantage in the paint.

"In practice, we've been working on our offensive rebounds," Boeding said. "After the loss at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, that was a mission of ours. Today we did a better job on the boards."

"A lot of rebounding is desire," Hammerle explained. "I told the team that I wanted them to attack the basket and we needed second-chance opportunities. I was so pleased with what they did, and with our balance on the boards."

Smith finished with ten points as the third Huskie in double figures. Monique Davis (Columbus, OH / Marion-Franklin) added nine points, seven rebounds and four assists while Kristan Knake (Marengo) tallied nine points and three steals.

The 32-point difference represents NIU's largest margin of victory since March 2, 1996, when the Huskies defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 117-52. Current assistant coach Charmonique Stallworth scored 40 points in that game, her final home contest as a player.

Northern Illinois takes time off for final exams before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the University of Dayton. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (EST) at the UD Arena, a regular home for NCAA men's basketball tournament games.

-30- -- Copy by Robert Hester