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Parlaying a strong offensive effort in the second half with poor Kaneland shooting, the Yorkville Foxes ran away with a 39-26 Northern Illinois Big 12 victory at Kaneland Friday.
The Knights (9-6, 2-3) went ice cold after the break, connecting on a mere 3-of-19 shots while the Foxes (10-3, 3-1) executed their offense effectively and seized control. Yorkville held a 22-19 advantage heading into the second half and quickly increased the lead.
Kendall McDermott put back a rebound to open the second half, and Mackenzie Bollinger followed with a bucket in the lane. McDermott added a basket from the post on an inbounds play, and the Foxes owned a 28-19 margin with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter.
Kaneland’s Emma Bradford ended the run when she drove down the lane, but Yorkville’s Rachael Owens drained a three-pointer from the corner on an inbounds pass to close out the stanza with the Foxes ahead 31-21. The Knights misfired on 9-of-10 attempts from the field at all ranges in the frame.
“The inbounds plays were nice to see,” Yorkville coach Luke Engelhardt said. “Rachael’s three was big for us to end the third quarter. We executed some other plays nicely throughout the game, and it was nice to see that halfway through the year they’re finally getting it and putting the ball in the hoop.”
Bollinger scored on a backdoor feed from Corrine Rowe (10 points, three steals, four assists) to start the final frame. Bollinger finished with seven points and seven rebounds, while McDermott tallied eight points. Rowe netted all 10 of her points in the first half.
Closing out on the Knights shooters and shutting down the lane, the Foxes contested nearly every shot. Kaneland attempted just two free throws for the game and hit 4-of-12 from beyond the arc. Allyson O’Herron led the Knights with six points.
“We didn’t do anything differently (in the second half), we just continued to focus on O’Herron and not let her get any open looks on the outside,” Engelhardt said. “She can light it up. We limited her touches and closed down the middle. They missed a few shots which helped.”
“Usually they sit back in a zone, but they put in some trapping stuff and they went man sometimes which really threw us off,” O’Herron said. “They did a really good job closing out on all of our shooters and we missed a lot of shots because they were pressured.”
Rowe scored off the opening tip and added a pair of long balls in the first half when the lead changed hands four times. O’Herron also hit two triples in the first half, but managed only two shots after the break.