NIU women’s basketball beaten at the buzzer: Huskies left wondering as Kent State sinks winner


Freshman Kelly Smith (25) shoots the ball over a Western Michigan defender Wednesday at the Convocation Center. The Huskies saw their four-game wining streak come to a close with a 60-51 loss to the Broncos. Now, they hit the road for two games looking to start another win streak.

By Walter Douglas

What happened

Women’s basketball (10-12, 6-6 MAC) lost its second game in a row as it fell to the Kent State Golden Flashes (4-19, 2-10 MAC), 54-52, Saturday at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio.

How it happened

The Golden Flashes went on a 13-5 run with 8:51 left in the first half to take a 22-17 lead into the break. Senior guard Amanda Corral was held to 0-6 shooting from the field in the first half.

Corral scored all of her 17 points in the second half. The rest of the Huskies combined for 18 second-half points.

With 16 seconds left in the game and the Huskies leading 51-50, sophomore guard Ally Lehman committed a foul on Kent State’s Mikell Chinn. Chinn made both free throws to give the Golden Flashes a 52-51 lead.

Corral made one free throw to tie the game, 52-52, with seven seconds left, but she missed her second attempt. With 0.8 seconds left Kent State guard Larissa Lurken threw in a lob on an inbounds pass to redshirt junior guard Melanee Stubbs, who sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer.

The number: 52

That’s the number of points Kent State held NIU to in this game. The Golden Flashes were giving up an average of 70.6 points per game over their eight-game losing streak coming into the game. They turned it around with their defense and held the Huskies to 16 field goals on 37.2 percent shooting from the floor.

Northern Star players of the game

NIU’s Corral scored a game-high 17 points to go along with a team-high five rebounds. She added two assists, two steals and one block. All of her points came in the second half.

CiCi Shannon, Kent State redshirt senior center, recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, both team highs. She also pitched in two assists, one block and one steal in 24 minutes.

The quote

“It was really tough; just a lot of miscommunication down the stretch,” said head coach Kathi Bennett, according to an interview broadcast on NIUTube. “I take responsibility. I had a lineup out there that I shouldn’t have had. Their size killed us today; we could not battle it.”

Up next

The Huskies will finish their two-game road trip when they take on the Toledo Rockets (13-10, 6-6 MAC) 10 a.m. Wednesday at Savage Arena in Toledo, Ohio.

The Huskies are 3-10 away from the Convocation Center and 2-9 in true road games. They’re 1-5 in conference road contests.