Huskies women’s team favorites in conference

By Carl Ackerman

CHICAGO—For the second consecutive year, the NIU women’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the North Star Conference by its eight head coaches.

The announcement came Tuesday at the North Star Conference Luncheon at Ditka’s restaurant in Chicago. NIU edged its arch-rivals of DePaul by one point, 46-45.

Last season the Huskies captured the NSC crown with a perfect 12-0 record. DePaul finished second at 10-2.

“We’re ready for the challenge of another year, but we know it’s going to be a tough one,” NIU head coach Jane Albright said.

A major reason for this feeling is the loss of three NIU starters—Carol Owens, Tammy Hinchee and Kris Weis. The three were a very pivotal factor to last year’s 26-5 finish which placed the Huskies at the No. 1 spot in NCAA scoring.

“What you’re going to see this season is that we have the same system. I hope we will get even better. Our three seniors (Lisa Foss, Denise Dove and Toby Meeks) will be our keys. Seniors definitely set the tone,” Albright said.

For the first time in its eight-year existence, the NSC tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships. The NSC is the 22nd conference to receive an automatic bid and the only one added this season.

Also, the NSC has been tabbed as the 13th-ranked conference in the country, in terms of highest attendance figures.

Wisconsin-Green Bay finished third in the voting with 37 points. Valparaiso finished fourth with 31 points. Akron, Cleveland State, Illinois-Chicago and NSC newcomer Wright State rounded out the bottom four.