Women's Basketball Final Score


December 12, 2004

Women's Basketball Final Score: Western Illinois 64, Northern Illinois 56

Box Score

MACOMB, IL---A quick nine-point burst at the beginning of the second half broke a 30-30 halftime tie and helped Western Illinois hand Northern Illinois a 64-56 loss in women’s college basketball action at WIU’s Western Hall Sunday (Dec. 12).

NIU drops its fourth straight game despite a game and career-high 24 points from sophomore Stephanie Raymond and falls to 1-5 overall on the season. Western Illinois, on the other hand, notches its 29th consecutive victory at Western Hall and moves to 3-4 for the year.

Jessica Cook got the Westerwinds off to a good start, scoring six points in a span of 1:11 to get the hosts a 14-7 lead before the Huskies came roaring back. Freshman Tara Michels hit a three-pointer to stop the bleeding and Raymond drove the lane for a lay-up. Michels followed up with a pair of free throws, and just as quickly, the game was tied once again at 14 apiece.

NIU wasn’t done yet, using back-to-back baskets from Raymond and Jamie Wilson to cap off a 14-3 run and grab a 21-17 lead. Raymond also added six points over the final 5:15 of the half to help stave off a late Western Illinois run and the teams headed to halftime tied at 30.

Coming out of the break, however, it was all Westerwinds. WIU scored the first nine points of the second stanza including seven by Orinta Kavaliauskaite to go up 39-30. The Huskies, on the other hand went scoreless for more than four minutes, finally getting back on the board with two Kristin Wiener free throws at the 16:47 mark.

“Western Illinois came out, and we just weren’t ready at the start of the second half,” Huskie head coach Carol Hammerle explained. “They were so much more aggressive, and we didn’t make very good decisions. That was the difference in the ballgame.”

That nine-point advantage grew as high as 12 on multiple occasions while the Huskies could get no closer than six the rest of the way. Raymond tried to bring the Huskies back, sinking 5-of-9 shots in the second half including a pair of late three-pointers, but it was not enough.

Raymond’s classmate Mary Basic also had a solid game, making a career-best three tri-lighters on her way to 11 points while Wiener put up a career-high rebound total for the second straight game with 11 caroms. As a team, however, the Huskies shot 35.1 percent from the floor and got to the free throw line just nine times. The Westerwinds, on the other hand, got to the line 21 times in the second half alone, sinking 16 of those attempts to stave off any NIU charge.

“We need to find players number six, seven, and eight to come off the bench,” Hammerle added, citing WIU’s 11-0 bench scoring advantage. “That is where we really need some of our players to step up and fill some roles.”

Northern Illinois returns home and welcomes DePaul University to town Wednesday (Dec. 15). The Blue Demons---ranked No. 15 in the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls---are slated to tip things off with the Huskies at 7:05 p.m. (CST) in the Convocation Center.