Defense lacks in women’s preseason basketball win

By Frank Gogola

DeKalb | Known for its defense under head coach Kathi Bennett, the women’s basketball showed signs of offensive life in its lone preseason game.

Five Huskies scored in double figures as NIU held on for a 76-72 win over the Lewis Flyers Saturday at the Convocation Center. The Huskies came out with an offensive explosion in the first half but needed to hold on late to win.

Junior guard Amanda Corral paced the Huskies with 15 points. Eleven of her points came in the second half, including four free throws in the final 27 seconds of the game to help seal the victory.

“Offensively, I thought we overdribbled some … but got really good looks,” Bennett said. “We missed a lot of open shots, but I thought down the stretch we maintained our poise and did a good job when the game got a little tight.”

The Huskies took their first lead of the game, 10-8, on an Ally Lehman jumper five minutes into the game. The Huskies were tied or led the remainder of the first half and held a 44-30 halftime lead.

Sophomore guard Alexis Lindstrom posted 12 of her 14 points in the first half. Junior forward Natecia Augusta posted 10 of her 13 points before the half.

Lehman notched all 10 of her points in just more than a four-minute period in the middle of the first half. Redshirt junior guard Danny Pulliam was the fifth Huskie who posted double digits, with seven of her 10 points coming in the second half.

“Offensively, I thought we did some nice things,” Bennett said. “We had a lot of people score, and that’s something that’s different, so that definitely is a positive.”

The Huskies’ lead grew as big as 16 points midway through the second half, but they saw it shrink to as small as one point with 1:19 to play.

“I did not like our defense at all,” Bennett said. “We did not dictate, and it just wasn’t us out there defensively. … Transition-D and just closing out to containment, those were definitely some big issues for us.”

Senior guard/forward Ashley Sneed nailed a three and Corral knocked down all four of her free throws, as NIU outscored Lewis 7-4 down the stretch for the 76-72 victory.

“…I feel good about our team,” Bennett said. “I think we can score, and I know the one thing we can control is our defense, and we’ll get that situated.”