Ellis scored 19 points and grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds in the Huskies’ 57-53 win over the Rockets.
Toledo trailed by only two with 3:05 left when Ellis took over. She put back an NIU miss, blocked a shot by conference player of the year candidate Naama Shafir, and made another lay-up in the span of 43 seconds to give NIU a six-point lead with 2:22 left.
“She was possessed,” NIU head coach Kathi Bennett said of Ellis’ performance against the Rockets. “I felt like her rebounding and scoring was unbelievable. I think she got her hand on every ball that came off the rim.”
For the week, Ellis averaged 19.5 points and 15.0 rebounds. In the Huskies’ overtime loss at Western Michigan, she totaled 20 points and muscled 14 rebounds. She also hit 6-of-8 free throws and added one block and one steal against the Broncos.
“It’s a well-deserved honor,” Bennett said. “She played so hard for every minute, and truly dominated when she was on the floor.”
It was both the third player of the week award for NIU this year and for Ellis in her career. Fellow senior Marke Freeman has garnered the accolade twice this season. Ellis is now 31 points shy of joining Freeman in the NIU 1,000-Point Club.
Ellis and the Huskies return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State in the regular season finale. With a win, NIU can secure a first-round home game in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which would be played at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6.