Huskies on rebound at home vs. Detroit

By Kari Brackett

After two road games, the NIU women’s basketball team will come back to Chick Evans Field House to play the Detroit Lady Titans Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Huskies are coming off of the road with a split win-loss record. NIU won Saturday against Illinois-Chicago but suffered a loss against DePaul on Wednesday. The Huskies look to make up for that loss with a win.

While the Huskies have an overall record of 7-10, they are 6-1 at home. The Lady Titans are 11-5 overall and 4-1 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. Saturday’s game is a first-time meeting between NIU and Detroit.

“It will be a very big game for us,” NIU Coach Jane Albright said. “We are going to have to play real hard this game. I know we can do it because the team responds well to challenges.”

The two challenges, statistically speaking for the Huskies, will be Detroit’s Cassandra Pack and Daphne Smith. Pack, a 5-foot-9-inch senior who shoots 62 percent from the court, is the team’s leading scorer with a 21.1 ppg average. She also averages 7.8 rbpg. Smith, a 5-11 senior, is the Titan’s second leading scorer with 18.8 ppg.

“Pack and Smith are statistically the ones we are up against,” Albright said. “When someone (Pack) shoots 80 percent from the floor during conference games and she averages eight rebounds per game, she is tough.”

Tammy Hinchee and Gena Stubbs will try to make sure Pack and Smith do not improve their statistics. Six-foot-1 freshman center Hinchee, averaging 15.9 ppg with 9.9 rbpg, will be the one to hold Pack down.

While Hinchee and Pack are matched up, Stubbs will probably be paired with Smith. Stubbs, a 5-8 sophomore, is averaging 15.1 ppg and 6.1 rbpg, which is higher than Smith’s 4.4 rbpg.

“Tammy needs to play a real physical game,” Albright said. “If Tammy can get Pack flustered, Pack will lose her control.”

Albright said she believes NIU has to stick to its game plan.

“Detroit has a lot of people doing good things,” Albright said. “They are extremely quick and like an up-tempo game. Our normal game plan is that we like to run, and if it is not there, we will go for the controlled offense.”

After having an off night at DePaul, Huskie forward Shelly Roberts will take another shot at reaching the 1,000 career-points milestone. Roberts needs 11 after scoring a bucket in Wednesday night’s loss.