Dec. 20, 2007
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DeKALB, Ill. -The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team will look to rebound from its first home loss of the season when the Huskies welcome Northern Iowa to the Convocation Center Friday.
"We're glad to be home for a change," NIU head coach Carol Owens said. "We're just focused on playing hard and doing the things we know we can do. We learned some things about us in the game with DePaul. We've just been working on our fundamentals, trying to get better."
The Huskies (3-7) dropped their last game, a 90-58 decision to No. 16 DePaul, Monday night at the Convocation Center. DeKalb is the Panther's (4-5) fourth stop of a five-game road trip. Northern Iowa comes into Friday's game also looking to bounce back from a loss. The Panthers fell to in-state foe Iowa State, 69-41, Tuesday night in Ames, Iowa.
Northern Iowa holds a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series and has won the last four meetings between the two schools. The last time these two teams met, Nov. 26, 2004 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Panthers came away with a 74-60 victory. The last Huskie win in the series came Dec. 5, 1986 in DeKalb, an 86-72 decision.
Friday night's game is the last home game of 2007 for the Huskies. The Huskies are back on the road for a three-game road trip beginning Saturday, Dec. 29 when the Huskies travel to Indianapolis to take on IUPUI. Of the Huskies first 14 games, 10 of them are away from the Convocation Center.
"Being on the road is tough," Owens said. "When you have a young team like we do, it's a learning experience. It's always good to be home around familiar faces, family and friends."
As Owens mentioned, the Huskies are a young team. One of those young players that has improved is freshman Ebony Ellis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township). Starting the season coming off the bench, Ellis has started the last three games and is averaging 4.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game.
"She's got a lot of athletic ability," she said. "She's still learning the game, but she's a tremendous rebounder. She continues to work on her offensive skills, but I think everyday she's getting better."
Tip-off for Friday night's game is 7 p.m. Fans bringing a canned food item receive $1 admission. It is also Kishwaukee YMCA Night. Members of the Kishwaukee YMCA can purchase tickets for $2 at the Kishwaukee YMCA. Members of the Kishwaukee YMCA youth basketball league will be playing at halftime.