Huskies suffer fifth consecutive loss against Cardinals


Nyla Owens

NIU graduate guard Janae Poisson shoots a three-pointer during the middle of the second period against the Western Illinois University Leathernecks at the Convocation Center. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

By Jermel Williams, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – Wednesday’s game was a close one, with NIU women’s basketball cutting the Ball State University Cardinals’ double-digit lead down multiple times throughout the contest, even tying the score at 37-37 late in the second quarter. With a great effort, NIU still fell short of victory, losing 68-76. 

The game marked NIU’s fifth consecutive loss and their eighth loss in their last 10 games.

Graduate guard Janae Poisson led the team with 19 points, knocking down five shots from behind the arch. Senior guard Chelby Koker had a rough outing, only scoring five points while shooting 22.2% from the field. 

The game saw the return of senior forward A’Jah Davis, who went down with an injury late in the third quarter of the Jan. 25 game against Kent State University. Davis looked dominant as usual, recording a stat line of 12 points, 13 rebounds and two assists. 

“My focus was really just (to) let the game come to me,” Davis said. “I knew I would get the same looks that I’ve had before getting injured. It was just being patient since I haven’t been 100%.”

The Huskies went into halftime down five points, 37-42 and came out of halftime a bit sluggish, trailing by 12 points with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. That was until head coach Lisa Carlsen called a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Huskies were able to cut the lead back down to eight by the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter started off great for the Huskies going on a 6-2 run to bring them within four points with six minutes remaining in the game. After the short run by the Huskies, they kept the score within reaching distance for the remainder of the game. 

The difference in the fourth quarter that cost the Huskies the game was the field goal percentage. NIU shot 42.9% in the fourth while allowing the Cardinals to shoot 63.6% from the field. 

The field goal discrepancy is nothing new for the Huskies. In two of their last three games, the Huskies have allowed their opponents to shoot above 50% from the field. 

The Huskies will continue conference play at 1 p.m. Saturday, where they will travel to Buffalo, New York, to compete against the University at Buffalo at UB Stadium. Watch the game live on ESPN+ or view live stats on Sidearm Sports