Huskies fall to Toledo in key MAC matchup


By Justin Kelley

The women’s basketball team lost 64-53 to the University of Toledo Rockets Saturday in a Mid-American Conference matchup. The battle was between two teams trying to gain momentum heading into the MAC tournament.

With the win, the Rockets are one step closer to earning a first-round bye in the MAC Championship Tournament.

Both teams struggled to find offensive success to start the game shooting a combined 35 percent from the floor. Although their offense struggled NIU was able to score three points of six turnovers.

Head coach Lisa Carlsen said Toledo did a good job on defense in order to stop the Huskies.

“I thought they did a great job of being physical and handsy,” Carlsen said. “We weren’t strong enough to handle it.”  

Senior guard Mikayla Voigt led the Huskies in scoring with the quarter with seven points and grabbing one steal.

Both offenses started to heat up in the second quarter as NIU and Toledo both shot over 40 percent from the field. NIU took a 28-27 lead after sophomore guard Gabby Nikitinaite knocked down a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter 28-27.

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Nikitinaite led the Huskies in the second quarter scoring seven points and grabbing two rebounds.

Toledo took control in the third quarter outscoring the Huskies 20 to 13, to take a 47-41 lead. The Huskies struggled offensively shooting 35.7 percent from the floor and only knocking down one 3-pointer.

Voigt led the Huskies in scoring again with six points while grabbing one rebound in the third quarter.

The deficit grew in the fourth as senior center Kaayla McIntyre scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds for the Rockets.

NIU again struggled to find success scoring, knocking down only three shots in the final quarter. The Huskie defense struggled as well in the final quarter as Toledo shot 50 percent from the floor to walk away with a 64-53 victory.

Voigt scored a team-high 19 points and made her presence felt on defense with four steals.

The Huskies will continue MAC play 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center against Ball State University. This will be the final regular-season home game for NIU as the team will be celebrating their Senior Night.