Women’s basketball continues skid

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — The women’s basketball team was trailing early in the game as Ball State dominated the offensive boards 17-7 against NIU’s No. 13 ranked defensive rebounding squad.

The Huskies (10-10, 2-7 Mid-American Conference) suffered their sixth consecutive loss Saturday against the Ball State University Cardinals (17-3, 6-3 MAC ) 81-72.

The Huskies scored first and maintained the lead for the opening 10 seconds of the game, but it was not long before Ball State’s fast-paced offense drove right past NIU.

The Cardinals recorded six fast break points in the first quarter and did not allow another lead change for the remainder of the game.

“We didn’t take care of the basketball the way that we needed to, and we gave them too many second chance opportunities on the offensive glass,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen. “We had some key turnovers early in the game that allowed Ball State to get out and go.”

Ball State jumped to a 14-4 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Huskies failed to keep up on offense, as they shot 28 percent from behind the arc and turned the ball over nine times in the half.

Ball State extended its lead to 33-13 with 7:09 remaining in the second quarter.

However, the Cardinals’ 20-point lead did not last long as the Huskies retaliated, outscoring Ball State 20-18 in the second quarter to bring the game within single digits heading into the second half.

A huge spark in that comeback came from junior guard Courtney Woods, who shot just over 57 percent on 4-of-7 shooting in the first half. Woods finished with a game-high 37 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field and a season-high 15 rebounds.

“Obviously she was really good,” Carlsen said. “She shot the ball well from the outside, and anytime she does that it is going to make people make her put the ball on the floor, and she has shown she can be effective off the bounce as well. I thought we did a good job of putting the ball in her hands. I thought her teammates did a good job of finding her on the offensive end, and it was one of those nights where she shot the ball really well.”

Carlsen said she felt Ball State did a great job of crashing the offensive glass hard, and her team did not match the physicality at key times.

“In key situations where we played good initial defense and then give up something easy, those are just things that day in and day out we have to make the conscious effort to be able to match the physicality on the glass in order to not let that happen,” Carlsen said.

The Huskies were down 75-72 with 24 seconds remaining in the game despite being outperformed in multiple key categories.

NIU turned the ball over 18 times in the game and allowed 23 points off of those turnovers.

The Cardinals led the game in assists, 20-14, blocks, 6-1, and fast break points, 20-4.

“I think that as a coach all you can ask from any team is to give you what they have for forty minutes, and sometimes you live with the results, and you go back and tweak things and hope that the outcome will be different down the road,” Carlsen said.

The Huskies will look to break their losing streak against the Miami University Redhawks 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center.