Western Illinois 64, Northern Illinois 56
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 womens college basketball action at WIUs
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
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 wasnt 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 werent ready
at the start of the second half, Huskie head coach Carol Hammerle
explained. They were so much more aggressive, and we didnt
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.
Raymonds 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
We need to find players number six, seven, and eight to come
off the bench, Hammerle added, citing WIUs 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