Women’s hoops loses despite guard’s double-double

The women’s team wore American flag socks for Senior Night Wednesday in support of senior guard Ally Lehman’s decision to join Active Duty in the Army post graduation.

By Danielle Brown

DeKALB — Senior guard Ally Lehman posted her 16th double-double this season, tying the NIU record, but NIU came up short, 79-75, against University of Toledo on Senior Night in the Convocation Center.

“We all wish it would’ve been a different outcome,” said redshirt senior forward Cassidy Glenn. “Before the game, it was a mix of excitement and at the same time, sadness. It doesn’t really hit you until you start the game that this will be your last time playing on the [home] floor and your last time doing starting line-ups and all that. So I mean it’s sad, whether this was Senior Night or not, tonight would’ve been sad because we lost. We have a lot to look forward to, we just have to put this behind us and look forward to Saturday.”

All three seniors — Lehman, Glenn and forward Amber Gray— were named starters for the game as the team wore American flag socks in support of Lehman’s decision to join Active Duty in the Army after graduation.

“What I’ve seen from them as far as growth is a reflection of the growth of the team,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen. “They’re going to give you everything they can, every minute on the floor, and when it is time to hang them up, they have no regrets, and I know this group will do that.”

The Huskies were down the first six minutes of the game but a couple of 3-pointers from sophomore guard and forward Courtney Woods and a 3-pointer from freshman guard Janae Poisson gave the team a 24-11 lead headed into the second quarter. The Huskies then struggled to score the ball for the rest of the quarter which trickled into the second half.

“It seemed like we really did find our rhythm on the offensive end when we had that spurt in the second quarter,” Carlsen said. “Credit Toledo, they’re a really good defensive team.”

Lehman had 31 points and 16 rebounds in her final game at the Convocation Center and said Senior Night was very bittersweet.

Lehman said the night was sweet because of what the team has finally been able to accomplish this season, as they set the NIU record for most Mid-American Conference wins in school history Saturday with 12, especially after starting from the bottom and working their way to a first-round bye in the MAC tournament, which begins Monday. Lehman said it was bitter because the season is almost over, and the end comes closer with each passing day.

The Rockets picked up the pace in the second half. They climbed back to be within one point of the Huskies toward the end of the third, 47-46. Lehman hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer but it wasn’t enough for a Huskie win.

“I think that’s definitely a team that we’re more than capable of beating,” Lehman said. “We have to bounce back better. We need to come back against Western [Michigan]. We need a lot more focus.”

NIU wraps up its regular season 1 p.m. Saturday against the Western Michigan University Broncos before the MAC Tournament begins Monday.