Women’s hoops late comeback bid falls short

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — Women’s basketball (16-6, 9-2 Mid-American Conference) ended its four game win streak when it fell to the Central Michigan University Chippewas, (17-6, 9-2 MAC) 109-94.

It was a game of back-and-forth runs in the first quarter as the Chippewas were able to get a 25-23 lead. The Huskies struggled in the second quarter as they were held to 6-for-17 shooting from the field.

NIU’s depth was an issue throughout the game as its bench was held scoreless throughout the first half. The Huskies finished the game with six points off the bench.

Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said she thought the bench, specifically freshman forward Abby Woollacott and freshman guard Janae Poisson, did well in supplementing some much needed minutes for the team even though they did not light up the scoreboard.

“I thought our bench gave us some solid minutes in a lot of different areas even if it wasn’t scoring the basketball,” Carlsen said.

Carlsen said she does not see the bench scoring as an issue as it is something that can change on any given night.

Despite the announcement before the game of a fractured finger, redshirt senior guard Cassidy Glenn started the game and contributed 13 points on 3-for-6 from behind the arc throughout the first half. Glenn finished with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field.

Glenn wore a finger brace throughout the game and said it felt weird at first but did not affect her shooting. Glenn said the timetable for the injury is unknown.

With under three minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Chippewas were able to get on a 28-3 scoring run putting them up by 23 points which would be the Huskies largest deficit of the game. Central Michigan outscored NIU 31-17 in the second quarter and finished the first half with a 56-40 lead.

Senior guard Ally Lehman helped ignite a second half run as she recorded 17 points in the third quarter. Lehman finished the game with nearly another triple-double with 31 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

The Chippewas dominated close to the rim as they outscored NIU 55-26 in points in the paint and outrebounded the Huskies 58-30.

“I think that if you look at the stat sheet, the thing that is going to be the toughest to swallow is the disparity on the glass,” Carlsen. “We are going to have to find a way to rebound the basketball better and not give a team like Central that many second chance opportunities.”

Sophomore guards Mikayla Voigt and Courtney Woods shot a combined 32.1 percent on 9-of-28 shooting from the field. The guard duo finished with 29 total points and four rebounds.

The Huskies mounted a 17-7 run with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter but the Chippewas came away with the win.

“Well, I think first you have to look at it as a ball game with two really good basketball teams on the floor,” Carlsen said. “Central kind of had their way for a majority of that but I was proud of the way we continued to fight, especially in the second half.”

NIU is set to take on the University at Buffalo Bulls 1 p.m. Saturday in Buffalo, New York.