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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s basketball rebounds to take rematch over EMU

Katherine Follmer
Junior guard Laura Nickel (32) dribbles the ball down the court toward her teammates Feb. 14 against Western Michigan University. Nickel recorded a season-high 12 points in Saturday’s win over Eastern Michigan University. (Katherine Follmer | Northern Star)

NIU women’s basketball (12-12, 5-7 MAC) survived a rematch with the Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-17, 2-10 MAC), winning 61-52 three days after a season-low score of 47.

The Eagles gave the Huskies a scare with a third-quarter buzzer-beater to take their first lead of the game. NIU answered with a 23-12 fourth quarter to earn a victory and bring its record back to .500.


The Eagles were dragged down by their 28.6% shooting from the field as they stayed neck-and-neck with the Huskies in rebounds and turnovers.

“Eastern, they do a really good job scoring in the paint and rebounding,” junior guard Laura Nickel said. “So, we really had to make that an emphasis – boxing them out, not letting them get boards and then making them take tough, contested shots.”

In the Eagles’ Jan. 3 win over the Huskies, nine Eagles recorded points with four putting up 10 or more. Saturday, just six Eagles found the net with only two reaching double-digits.


Redshirt junior guard Sidney McCrea put up another strong performance, going 4-for-7 from three-point range and leading the offensive charge with 18 points and a career-high 6 assists. McCrea has scored 16 or more points in three of the last four games.

The 5-foot-10-inch guard put up seven points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer that gave the Huskies the lead they would hold through the final buzzer.

“When it comes down to crunch time, I really think that she’s (McCrea) somebody we can rely on down the stretch in so many different ways,” said NIU women’s basketball head coach Lisa Carlsen. “That three that she hit was probably the turning point in the fourth quarter.”

Nickel played a big role off the bench, scoring a season-high 12 points with eight rebounds and a pair of steals.

“I thought she (Nickel) was super aggressive and put pressure on them, especially off the dribble,” Carlsen said. “We needed that from her, just to soften things up a bit.”


Saturday’s win is the Huskies’ first road win since Jan. 10 against Ohio University.

“Our coach was saying before the game, this is a great opportunity,” McCrea said. “We have a lot of games on the road coming up.”


The Huskies stay on the road to face the University at Buffalo Bulls 5 p.m. CT Wednesday. Live stats will be available on SIDEARM Stats.

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