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    Women's Hoops Stuns Illinois



    February 6, 1999

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Senior guard Megan Chawansky (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) and junior forward Leslie Schock (Elgin, Ill./Elgin) combined for 48 points as Northwestern won its second-straight game on the road, a 76-73 decision over Illinois. The win avenged an earlier season loss to the Illini and improved the Wildcats' record to 10-11, 4-7 in the Big Ten. Illinois dropped to 13-8, 7-4 in the conference.

    Illinois led 36-32 at halftime. Chawansky picked up four quick fouls and was forced to sit out for the closing minutes of the first half. She headed to the bench with 12 first-half points.

    The Wildcats found themselves down by 11 (51-40) with 13:01 remaining in the contest. A total team effort, along with the outside shooting of Schock, put Northwestern back in position to win.

    Sophomore point guard Dana Leonard (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), playing with a severely bruised left calf muscle, hit a wide open three-point shot from the top of the key with 4:06 remaining. That basket tied the score at 67-67.

    NU went ahead, 70-69, when Schock hit a shot over Illinois power forward Alicia Sheeler with just 1:45 left. Seventeen seconds later, Sheeler was sent to the line for two free throws and made only the second shot to tie the game again at 70-70.

    The ball was in Chawansky's hands for Northwestern down the stretch. With 38 seconds remaining, she went up for a shot and was fouled. The senior captain sank both free throws to put NU ahead, 72-70. She added two more free throws with 15 seconds left, extending the Wildcats' lead to 74-70, but Illinois guard Melissa Parker threw in a desperation three pointer with five ticks on the clock. Leading 74-73, Northwestern once again went to Chawansky and she swished two more charity shots for the win.

    Chawansky scored 14 of her game-high 26 points in the second half, including a 12-of-13 performance from the free-throw line. She also finished with six assists which put her one over the 500-assist mark. She becomes the first player in Northwestern history to record 1,600 points, 600 rebounds, 500 assists and 150 steals in her career. Chawansky is the 11th player in Big Ten history to reach the 500-assist plateau.

    Schock recorded her third double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore center Tami Sears (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) added nine points and 10 rebounds.

    With one more victory, the Wildcats will give head coach Don Perrelli his 250th win at Northwestern. Now in his 15th and final season at NU, Perrelli owns a 249-176 record with the 'Cats.