Loss not pretty, but record stands at 0-0

By Todd McMahon

The experience of the Australian National women’s basketball team showed, and consequently, the mistakes piled up for NIU Sunday.

For Huskie head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle, the Australians simply came in and stole everything away in their 93-67 victory at Chick Evans Field House.

“We just never got to do what we wanted to do,” Albright-Dieterle admitted. “They took us out of both systems, offensively and defensively. You’ve got to credit them for taking everything we wanted to do away.”

Turnovers plagued NIU the entire game. A relentless Australian defense forced the Huskies to give up the ball 46 times, 23 coming in each half. Seven of the Australians’ 22 steals came from Vicki Daldy who pressured Huskie sophomore E.C. Hill into 10 turnovers.

“Turnovers are the story of the game,” Albright-Dieterle said. “You can’t turn the ball over 46 times, period. We just really never executed properly.”

NIU was also doomed by poor shooting. The Huskies shot 33 percent from the field for the game and only 27 percent in the first half.

“I don’t remember ever having a team shoot 33 percent in many years here,” Albright-Dieterle said. “But it’s early.”

“Their shooting percentage hurt them,” Australian head coach Robbee Cadee said. “But they got the first game under the belt, their nerves are out of the way, and they can do a lot better.”

Fortunately for the Huskies, the real season begins Sunday at the fieldhouse against Michigan State. “The best news of the day is we’re 0-0, and that they go home to Australia very soon,” Albright-Dieterle said after the game.

The Australian victory was its seventh in eight games on its current United States tour. As Albright-Dieterle noted, the Australians were announced Saturday night at Notre Dame as the third-ranked team in the world.

The only defeat on the Australians’ record is a 65-50 decision at the hands of Stephen F. Austin State University, a team NIU faces Dec. 16 at the fieldhouse.

“They’re a very skillful team,” Albright-Dieterle said. “That’s what we aspire to be.

“We’ve got a lot of chances to be a great team, a lot of days to put things together. We get a chance of what we need to work on, breaking things down, getting things together.”