January 10, 1999
EVANSTON, Ill. - Up only three points (43-40) with 10:02 remaining in the contest, the Illinois Fighting Illini went on a 17-3 run over the next five minutes that propelled the visitors to a 74-55 victory over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.
Guard Melissa Parker scored 11 of her game-high 19 points for Illinois (10-6, 4-2 Big Ten) during the run. Center Alicia Sheeler also played a big part in the second half, scoring 12 of her 18 points and finishing with 11 rebounds.
Northwestern only led once during the game (4-2 with 17:49 to go in the first half). Junior forward Leah Berki (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale Central) had a team-high eight points as the Cats headed to the locker room with a 34-25 deficit.
For the game, the Wildcats (7-6, 1-2 Big Ten) had a tough time connecting on their shots, ending up 20-of-58 from the field. It was the fewest amount of field goals made all season. The Cats were also plagued by turnovers, 21 to be exact.
Senior guard Megan Chawansky (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) led NU in scoring with 15 points. She became the eighth player in school history to surpass the 1,500-point plateau and now has 1,510 career points to her credit.
Sophomore center Tami Sears (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Head coach Don Perrelli's team will next be in action on Tuesday, Jan. 12 when they travel to Purdue to take on the No. 3-ranked Boilermakers. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. It will be a busy week for the Wildcats as they return home on Friday for a 7 p.m. tilt against Minnesota and then a 4 p.m. tipoff against Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 17. Tickets for the Ohio State game will be sold for $1 each as part of the "Pack the Place" promotion. Northwestern will be looking to set a women's basketball Welsh-Ryan Arena attendance record when the Buckeyes come to town. That game will also be televised by Fox Sports Chicago.