Huskies fall to Kent State, extend losing streak


Nyla Owens

Huskies senior guard Chelby Koker (10) advances the ball down court past Kent State junior guard Casey Santoro (0) during the matchup Wednesday. Koker racked up 21 points throughout the game at the NIU Convocation Center. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

DeKALB – NIU women’s basketball (10-7, 2-5 MAC) competed against Kent State University (11-6, 4-3 MAC) Wednesday. The Huskies fell short against the Golden Flashes, losing 82-61.

The Huskies started off the game slowly scoring 13 points while allowing 27 points by Kent State in the first quarter. The discrepancy in the first quarter was the three-point shot. 

The Huskies allowed six three-pointers in the first quarter while only knocking down one. Kent State had as hot of a start as a team can ask for, shooting 10-for-15 from the field and 6-for-7 from behind the arch. 

“We tried to change things up defensively,” head coach Lisa Carlsen said. “Did a lot more switching to see if we can put a little bit more pressure on them at the three-point line, but again they’re playing with a lead so us being able to slow them down a little bit is only going to be able to work if we are able to keep pace and score the basketball.” 

The defensive struggles continued in the second quarter for the Huskies. There were adjustments made heading into the second quarter to close out more on three-point shooters and not allow wide open looks from beyond the arch. The Huskies succeeded on this gameplan, only allowing one three in the second quarter, but the close out on Kent State’s three-point shooters led to wide open driving lanes. 

Kent State scored 22 points in the second quarter and shot 50% from the field while NIU scored 21 points and shot 33.3% from the field. The score heading into halftime was NIU 34 and Kent State 49.

The Huskies continued their struggles in the second half of Wednesday’s game. Kent State got off to another hot start leading 60-40 at the four minute mark in the third quarter. NIU senior forward A’Jah Davis went down late in the third quarter with a knee injury and was helped off of the court. Davis did not return to the game. 

“Yeah, I don’t know necessarily what the injury was,” Carlsen said. “Yes it was something with her knee but, I’m sure continued evaluation will see how she is.”

The Huskies showed life in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 11 points with six minutes remaining in the game. The early effort still wasn’t enough to capture the victory. 

Wednesday’s matchup against Kent State marks NIU women’s basketball’s third consecutive loss. The Huskies’ last win was on Jan 14., where they defeated Ohio University 78-66.

The Huskies compete against Bowling Green State University at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center. View live stats at SIDEARM Sports or watch live on ESPN3.