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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Huskies drop third straight after falling to Akron

Tim Dodge
Redshirt junior guard Sidney McCrea (2) signals to her teammates as she dribbles the ball up the court against Bowling Green State University Feb. 24. McCrea earned her first career double-double in a 69-54 loss to University of Akron Saturday. (Northern Star File Photo)

NIU women’s basketball (13-15, 6-10 MAC) picked up it’s third-straight loss after falling to the University of Akron Zips (10-17, 5-11 MAC) 69-54. 

Poor shooting held the Huskies back, as they finished 32.8% from the field and 21.4% from three-point range. Akron shot 44.3% from the field and 28% from three. The Huskies also turned the ball over 13 times, which led to 15 points for the Zips. 

“We need to get back to relying on our defense,” said NIU women’s basketball head coach Lisa Carlsen. “The combination of letting them get comfortable and then us not shooting particularly well.”

Junior forward Reagan Bass – third in the MAC in scoring and first in rebounds per game – led the Zips’ lineup with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Defensively, Bass logged 4 blocks and 3 steals.

Redshirt senior guard Morgan Haney complemented Bass with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. 

Bass, Haney and the Zips dominated, holding the lead for 38 minutes and 17 seconds compared to the Huskies’ 38 seconds. 

Redshirt junior guard Sidney McCrea led the Huskies with 12 points and 10 rebounds, picking up the first double-double of her career. Senior forward Brooke Stonebraker was second in scoring, logging 11 points.

“We asked a lot of her (McCrea) today, you know in situations where we felt like our matchups weren’t very favorable at other positions,” Carlsen said. “We asked her to do some things that we haven’t asked her to do much this year.” 

Akron neutralized senior guard Jayden Marable, NIU’s leader in points per game, holding her to 4 points on 28.6% shooting. 

“Jayden is a really important part of our team, but we rely on a lot of players each night and so there’s times where people have off shooting nights,” McCrea said. “As a good team you have to step up and help combat that and I don’t think we did a good job of that.” 

The Zips held control at the start of the game, going on a 9-3 run and picking up an eight point lead with three minutes and eight seconds remaining in the first quarter. Akron left the quarter with a 24-18 lead and shot 64.7% from the field.

The Zips’ success from the field flattened out in the second quarter, matching the Huskies field goal percentage of 33.3%. NIU closed the deficit to 3 at the four and a half minute mark following a three-pointer from senior guard Kortney Drake. 

Following the Drake three-pointer, Akron went on a 7-3 run, and went into halftime up 38-32. 


“I wasn’t happy with our defensive intensity first half,” Carlsen said. “I think we let them get comfortable. Now you’re in a dogfight and you’re begging for every shot that you take to go in.”

Akron ran away with the lead coming out of halftime, going on a 15-2 run and creating a 17-point lead – biggest of the game – with 4 minutes and 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 

Immediately after, NIU went on a 6-0 run closing the deficit to 11. On the following possession, a free-throw from Haney extended the Zips’ lead to 56-44 going into the fourth quarter.  

NIU cut the deficit to 10 one minute into the fourth quarter after a McCrea jumpshot, but Akron fired back with a 6-0 run and would sustain the double-digit lead the rest of the game. 


NIU will stay in Ohio, tipping off against Miami University at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday in Oxford, Ohio. Streaming will be available on ESPN+, listening on The Varsity Network and live stats on SIDEARM Sports

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