Forward notches career-high; NIU still falls short

By Danielle Brown

DeKALB — Redshirt senior forward Cassidy Glenn had a career-high 22 rebounds, fourth most in a single game in NIU history, but the Huskies fell short, 92-84, Saturday against the Ball State University Cardinals.

The Huskies were trailing the Cardinals by 12 points with under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter but were able to force an 80-80 tie due to the heroics of senior guard Ally Lehman. Ultimately, the Huskies were unable to complete the comeback as the Cardinals made their free-throws to seal the victory.

The Huskies (18-7, 11-3 Mid-American Conference) were not able to sweep the season series. Lehman recorded 17 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Given the loss, this is Lehman’s fourth consecutive 25-point game, making her only the third Huskie to accomplish this feat. Tammy Hinchee and Carol Owens completed this in 1989-90, according to NIU Media Services.

The Huskies missed a lot of opportunities near the basket, especially late in the game. Carlsen said those intangibles are a part of the game, and sometimes, the ball does not fall your way.

“I know these guys would love to have those shots back, but that’s part of the ball game,” Carlsen said. “Basketball is a game of runs and a game of mistakes, and you have to minimize them.”

Junior forward Kelly Smith had 17 points and sophomore forward Courtney Woods added 11.

Fans turned their attention to center court before the game began to acknowledge freshman guard Paulina Castro, diagnosed earlier this season with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The first half was a game of runs. The Cardinals (18-8, 11-3 MAC) jumped out to a lead in the second quarter, but a late run by the Huskies trimmed the Cardinal lead to 45-42, going halftime.

Ball State won the third quarter, 26-19.

Huskies have been wearing purple in support of Castro since her diagnosis. Castro was recognized for the donations from the #PCStrong campaign, which accumulated $1,090 on their Play for Kay day, where the Convocation Center recognized cancer patients and honored a few survivors during the halftime break.

The strong play of Lehman and the Huskies in the later stages of the fourth quarter was not enough, as the Huskies were unable to make the comeback.

The Huskies’ next game will be 6 p.m. Wednesday against Central Michigan University (20-6, 12-2 MAC) in a must-win game if NIU wants a shot at winning the MAC-West division.