Women’s basketball to go toe-to-toe with Ohio

By Christopher Loggins

Women’s basketball (9-11, 2-7 MAC) will have an opportunity to build on its last-second victory over Buffalo University last Saturday as it takes on Ohio University (17-3, 9-0 MAC).

The Bobcats are 7-0 at home this season and have won 12 games in a row. They’ve scored less than 70 points only twice in that time span, outscoring opponents by more than 15 points. They have a top-3 scoring offense and are the top defense in the MAC. They rank first in scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense, blocked shots and turnover margin. The Huskies rank in the bottom five of all of those categories except for blocks.

Ohio’s 12-game win streak is the longest in the MAC at the moment, and they’ve been the top team in the conference for the majority of the season.

The teams last met Jan. 23 in game that was never close as Ohio downed the Huskies 72-47, one of three losses of at least 25 points for NIU this season. Sophomore forward Kelly Smith led the Huskies with 12 points, the only Huskie in double figures on the night.

Senior guard Kiyanna Black leads the Bobcats in scoring, averaging 18 points per game. The Huskies are led by junior guard Ally Lehman, who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Lehman leads the Huskies in a number of categories including steals, assists, blocks and minutes played. Smith follows Lehman, putting up 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Huskies.

NIU has nine games remaining in the regular season and still have a chance to finish over .500. The team has not played well as of late and recently had a seven-game losing streak, but still has a chance at a solid finish.

The Huskies will finish 18-11 if they win the remainder of their games, but a nine-game winning streak may not be likely at this point in the season. They only need to win six games for the rest of the regular season to have a winning record of 15-14.