Women’s basketball downs DePaul in home opener

NIU gets first win over Blue Demons since 1994

By Jermel Williams, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – The women’s basketball team had a competitive game Saturday against DePaul University, defeating DePaul in an 86-79 victory. This win marks the first win against DePaul in their last 20 matchups and follows their tough loss against Notre Dame 88-44 on Monday.

The Huskies came slowly out the gate, falling 31-21 in the first quarter, allowing DePaul to shoot 5-for-11 from three while only going 1-for-6 from the three-point line.

Heading into the second quarter, the defense became more prominent, protecting the three-point line and only allowing 12 points in the second quarter. The difference lay within the three-point shot, not allowing any threes in the second quarter.

“Anybody who plays DePaul knows you have to guard outside of the arc,” head coach Lisa Carlsen said. “They love to shoot, they came out hot and hit some tough ones; and yes, we needed to adjust a bit and get a little bit

Players from NIU and DePaul University battle for possession during Saturday’s game at the Convocation Center in DeKalb. (Taylor Jackson)

tighter, not just on their scouting report three point shooters but everybody. I think we did a much better job of that.”

After halftime, the Huskies shifted their game into second gear while DePaul seemed to take a step back in their intensity. The Huskies won both quarters, winning 26-19 in the third and 21-17 in the fourth.

The game was led by senior guard Chelby Koker. Koker led the game in scoring, putting up 24 points shooting 60% from the field and 66% from three. Along with her scoring, Koker also had six assists and three steals.

“I think we did a really good job on preparing for their trapping,” Koker said. “We knew they were going to come out hard and try to make us turn over the ball, so just the preparation in practice and both sides of the team, like in scout, pushed us really hard preparing us for this game, and I think that’s what gave us the edge today.”

Along with Koker, senior forward A’jah Davis also was dominant on both the offensive and defensive end of the ball. Davis finished the game with 20 points, four assists, five rebounds and two steals. She handled the paint on the defensive end, allowing DePaul’s sophomore forward Aneesah to score 25 points on 23 shots.

Although Morrow scored 25 points, Davis made her work for them.

“We knew Morrow is one of the best post players in the country, and I want that title,” Davis said. “So, I was going to try and do anything for us to not let her get her way, and then on top of that we know she shoots half of their attempts, so I was just trying to do my job by keeping the ball out and making her take really tough ones (shots).”

The Huskies will continue their play at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Convocation Center where they will compete against Southern Indiana University. View live stats at SIDEARM Sports.