Illinois Women's Basketball Runs Into Nationally Rated Buzzsaw Named
Only in Fantasy League basketball could Northern Illinois University
womens coaches Carol Owens and E. C. Hill---both Huskie All-America
selections and Hall of Famers---come off the bench and helped the
Illinois could have utilized both former all-stars as the current
Huskies ran into a proverbial buzzsaw named DePaul University and
suffered an 89-46 setback to the nationally ranked Blue Demons before
2,093 spectators at the DePaul Athletic Center Monday night (December
No. 11 nationally in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the
ESPN / USA Today / Womens Basketball Coaches Association version---won
for the ninth time in 10 games this season. Coach Doug Brunos
Blue Demons captured their 18th consecutive home contest and 44th
in their last 45 appearances at the DePaul Athletic Center.
is a Top 20 rated team, said Owens in her first meeting against
the Blue Demons as a head coach. We have to handle their pressure
better and get used to the physical play. Were certainly not
taking anything away from DePaul, but we didnt defend well.
We just couldnt get our post game going and we didnt
take advantage of the opportunites we had at the free throw line.
You cant do that against a team as good as DePaul.
The host Blue
Demons---which averaged 80.9 points-per-game on offense prior to
the game---set the tone early and ran out to a 10-0 lead in the
games first 2:16 on an opening lay-up by guard Allie Quigley,
a jump shot by forward Khara Smith, two buckets by guard Jenna Rubino,
and another lay-in by Quigley. DU went on an 8-0 run in the first
1:51 to open the second half and pulled into a 49-23 advantage.
all scorers and tied a season-high with 23 points by hitting 10-of-16
shots from the floor---including
3-of-7 from behind the three-point arc. Rubino added 16 points for
DePaul followed by Khara Smith and reserve Suzanne Morrison with
10 points, respectively. I thought Quigley had a strong game
as did Rubino, Owens said. We didnt match up with
either one of them. We had opportunities to get the ball in the
paint and we didnt finish.
Huskies shot a season-low 27.3 percent from the field (15-of-59)
and only 1-of-13 from three-point range (7.7 percent). Still, Northern
Illinois fought back within 11 points at 26-15 with 7:23 left in
the first half on a free throw by Jamie Wilson. The Blue Demons
held a 41-23 halftime lead. In the final stanza, things only got
worse as DePaul built a 45-point advantage at 78-33 on two charity
tosses by Holly Medley at the 6:52 mark.
DePaul won every major team statistical category---shooting percentage
(45.2 percent), three-point baskets (8-to-1), rebounding (49-to-36),
assists (19-to-7)---and insured the victory with a 15-of-16 evening
(93.8 percent) at the foul line. NIU also hurt itself with 22 turnovers---14
in the second half---and a 15-of-23 performance (65.2 percent) at
the free throw stripe.
For the seventh
straight time this season, Northern Illinois junior guard Stephanie
Raymond reached double-digit scoring with 11 points, plus produced
three assists and two steals in 36 minutes of play. Forward Kristin
Weiner contributed nine points and four rebounds while reserve Nikita
Odom added a game-best nine boards and eight points in 23 minutes
for the Huskies.
margin of defeat also represented the largest in the 34-game NIU-DU
rivalry that began in 1978-79. DePaul captured the second all-time
meeting against Northern Illinois by a 95-61 score on March 2, 1979
on a neutral site. This seasons Huskies were playing their
first game in 11 days due to the final exam period.
overall---travels to Wichita State University next Monday (December
19) for a 7 p.m. tilt against head coach Jane Albrights Shockers.
Albright, of course, coached both Owens and Hill at Northern Illinois
and ranks as the winningest basketball mentor in school history.
DePaul---now 9-1 overall---is one of four Big East Conference units
ranked in the nations Top 25 with Rutgers, Connecticut, and
Notre Dame and hosts St. Francis (PA) on Saturday (December 17)