After a two-season pause as rivals, the Huskies will face Milwaukee in Wisconsin


Junior forward Riley Blackwell reaches for a layup Nov. 5 during NIU’s home loss to Harvard University at the Convocation Center.

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB – Three years have passed since the last time the women’s basketball team faced the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

On Nov. 16, 2016, the Huskies and Panthers went back and forth at the Convocation Center. The game lasted four quarters plus two overtime sessions to crown a winner. After a career-game from Ally Lehman where she poured in 48-points, the Huskies came out with a 114-104 victory.

Redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods, who drained 15 points in the last matchup, and senior guard Myia Starks are the only current Huskies who saw playing time in the overtime victory. 

This season, the Huskies will ride a 3-4 record to Milwaukee. NIU has fallen in its two previous games as a visitor to its northern rival. The Panthers posted 73 points in both games, winning by at least eight points each.

The Huskies stumbled in a loss Saturday to the University of South Dakota. NIU did not have an answer against the Coyotes, as they had no trouble posting a 43-point final lead.

Yet history has proven to be on the side of the Huskies. Under Head Coach Lisa Carlsen, NIU has responded positively after conceding 90 or more points in a loss. After those games, the Huskies have won the following game 16 of 19 times.

This early season has been up and down for NIU. Its visit to Milwaukee will be the team’s last non-conference road game of the season, handing the team a chance to earn another non-league victory.

Like the Huskies, the Panthers have not spent much time playing in front of a home crowd this season. Milwaukee has played just twice at home to NIU’s one game. However, the Panthers have defended their court with wins in both games, each with a comfortable lead.

Milwaukee is coming off road trips to Chicago and New York where they visited DePaul University and Columbia University Nov. 26 and Saturday respectively. The Panthers were silenced in both games losing by double-digits each time. Milwaukee is currently 2-5 but have six home games ahead, including the one against NIU.

The Huskies will have a tough task ahead of them, and the staggering loss to the Coyotes was a blow to the gut. However, NIU holds a slight nod over the Panthers, as the Huskies are 1-0 this season against teams with a losing record.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Klotsche Center. The game will be broadcast by ESPN.