NIU suffers shooting woes in a blowout loss to Drake


By Quentin Wilson

DeKALB —  Women’s basketball dropped their second-consecutive game Sunday, after a 73-49 loss to Drake University to close non-conference play.

The Huskies struggled shooting the ball, connecting on 28% of their attempts from the field. The shooting woes affected the Huskies in all areas, going 5-31 from behind the arc and 2-7 on free throws for the game. Drake’s transition offense got the best of the Huskies, scoring 29 points off turnovers.

“When you look at the stat sheet, [these] are the things that are probably going to stick out,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “Us turning the ball over, not shooting well and giving them too many second chance opportunities.” 

Senior guard Myia Starks scored a team high nine points, while also being a leader on the defensive end collecting six steals, tying her career high. 

The Bulldogs controlled most of this game, leading all but the first 23 seconds. In the first quarter, Drake went on an 8-0 scoring run to give them a nine point lead before senior forward Abby Woolcott hit a free throw, starting an 8-2 scoring run for the Huskies. 

During the second quarter the Bulldogs scored 23 points, increasing their lead to as much as 16 points. Drake red-shirt senior forward Sara Rhine scored nine points in the quarter to increase her point total to 15 at the half. 

Offense was hard to come by for the Huskies, shooting only 33% in the quarter, finishing with zero 3-pointers and free throws made.

The second half was much like the first, as NIU continued to struggle to put the ball in the basket, scoring 12 points for the third-straight quarter. Starks and first-year guard Grace Hunter were responsible for all of the Huskies’ points during the third quarter.

“Their length I think is an issue,” Carlsen said. “Teams with great length that are playing zone and switching on screens will cause problems [for the Huskies].”

The Bulldogs put on a full team effort to keep NIU out of reach for the second half of the game. In the fourth quarter, Drake was able to push the lead to 25 points. Rhine finished the game with 18 points, while three other Bulldogs finished with double-digit points.

Carlsen said she was happy that her team was able to keep Rhine in check in the second half, but the Huskies let Drake have some great looks at the basket.

“[Drake] is going to be able to capitalize in that situation,” Carlsen said. “They had too many good looks in the second.”

With the loss, the Huskies fall to 4-7 on the season in non-conference play. Mid-American Conference play will begin against the University of Ohio 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 in Athens, Ohio.