Women’s basketball’s offense falls apart

By Frank Gogola

Women’s basketball put forth another solid defensive performance, but it also had its lowest scoring output of the season, as it failed to maintain any offensive consistency on the road.

The Huskies (8-11, 4-5 MAC) posted a season-low 43 points in a 57-43 loss to the Western Michigan Broncos (9-11, 5-4 MAC) Saturday at University Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Their previous season low for points scored was 44, which they put up twice: on Nov. 8 at Green Bay in a 78-44 loss and on Jan. 26 at Bowling Green in a 57-44 loss.

NIU came in scoring 62.6 points per game and averaging 64 points per game in conference play. WMU, not the greatest defensive team, entered the contest allowing 71.3 points per game on the season and 77.4 points per game during conference play.

Defensively, the Huskies have held their opponents to less than 60 points seven times this season. They are 5-2 when allowing 59 or fewer points, but they have lost two of the last three due to offensive struggles.

The first half was a game of runs before the Broncos pulled away. WMU opened the game on a 7-0 run; the Huskies responded with a 4-0 run before the Broncos went on a 4-0 run of their own.

NIU countered with a 6-0 run to get as close as one point, 11-10, but WMU promptly went a 16-0 run. The Broncos led by as many as 19 points in the first half and held a 33-20 lead at the half.

The Huskies cut their deficit to as few as 11 points, 33-22, in the second half, but they failed to get any closer the remainder of the game. The Broncos went on to win, 56-43.

“It was a really disappointing loss tonight because our defense was able to get stops when it needed to in the second half and caused Western Michigan to commit a lot of turnovers,” said head coach Kathi Bennett in a news release.

The NIU defense forced 17 turnovers, while its offense tied its season low with seven turnovers committed; they turned the ball over seven times on Nov. 30 against Lamar.

NIU struggled on the offensive end of the court, shooting 30.6 percent (19-62) from the field compared to WMU’s 48.8 percent (20-41).

NIU shot 23.5 percent (4-17) from beyond the arc while WMU nailed 45.5 percent (5-11) of its 3-pointers.

The Huskies made it to the free-throw line four times, making one. On the other hand, the Broncos shot 68.8 percent (11-16) at the charity stripe.

WMU sophomore forward Miracle Woods finished with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes.

Redshirt junior guard Danny Pulliam paced the Huskies with 11 points, and she added three rebounds, one block and one assist.

Junior guard Amanda Corral shot 1-7 from the field for a season low two points in 12 minutes.