Career night from Koker propels Huskies to dominant victory


Nyla Owens

Huskie senior guard Chelby Koker (10) dribbles the ball to an open part of the court while junior forward Tara Stauffacher (21) defends Koker from University of Akron’s sophomore forward Reagan Bass (34) on Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

By Jermel Williams, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU women’s basketball (12-10, 4-7 MAC) dominated the University of Akron 88-63 (14-8, 5-6 MAC), extending their winning streak to two games.

Senior guard Chelby Koker’s record night from behind the arch led the Huskies to a 88-63 win over the Zips. 

Wednesday was a career night for Koker, as she knocked down a career high seven three-pointers. Koker beat her previous record of six made threes on Feb. 8, 2021, when the Huskies defeated Ball State University 78-74. 

“Honestly I’ve never been so open in my entire life,” Koker said. “In past games if I made a couple (threes) the other team was always extremely hard for me to get another one off. I think that this was just a testament of how well we moved the ball today, we made it so hard for them to guard us defensively and it really just created shots.”

Along with Koker, senior forward A’Jah Davis and graduate guard Janae Poisson both had amazing games. Davis finished the night with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Poisson was a spark off of the bench, finishing the game with 14 points in 16 minutes, knocking down four three-pointers off of the bench. 

The Huskies got off to a hot start in the first three minutes of the game, leading 11-2 at the seven-minute mark. The early game run led to a timeout by Zips head coach Melissa Jackson. Following the Zips’ timeout, the Huskies slowed down a bit on both the offensive and defensive end of the ball allowing the Zips to take the lead by the end of the first quarter. The Huskies trailed at the end of the first quarter 19-21 with the leading scorer being Koker with nine points.

The second quarter was slowed down for both teams. The Huskies were able to keep the game close with their second-chance points. The Huskies had seven second-chance points in the second quarter while the Zips had zero. The score heading into halftime was tied 37-37.

“I think the last two games that’s been something that we’ve really been good at,” head coach Lisa Carlsen said. “So we did talk about making sure we crash the offensive glass and do that consistently, but it seems we had a lot of people getting those 50/50 balls and that’s what led us to all of those (second chance) opportunities.”

The Huskies were lights out in the third quarter, scoring 31 points while shooting 61% from the field and 71% from behind the arch. At one point in the third quarter, the Huskies had the largest lead of the game at 22 points. The Huskies finished the third quarter with a 68-47 lead.

The Huskies cleared their bench at the beginning of the fourth quarter and scored 20 more points to end the game. 

The Huskies will continue Mid-American Conference play at noon Saturday where they will compete against Ohio University at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. Watch the game live on ESPN3 and view live stats on SidearmSports.