Women’s basketball season recap

By Jacob Onak

There is no question that it was a tough season for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, but the women’s basketball team really had its back against the wall at the end of the season.

The Huskies ended the season with a 7-23 overall record and a conference record of 3-13. They hit a bad run in the middle of the season as they went on a nine-game losing streak starting Jan. 5. After winning two straight on Feb. 6 and 10, NIU finished the season with a seven-game losing streak.

However, with all of these losses were some underlying injury issues for the Huskies. The first and foremost was the torn ACL of senior forward Satavia Taylor.

Taylor started and played 21 games for the Huskies and was second in the team with 12.4 points per game, averaged 31.3 minutes a game and had the highest 3-point shooting percentage on the team going 42.9 percent from behind the arc.

The combination of Taylor and sophomore guard Amanda Corral kept NIU in games offensively. Once Taylor went down, the Huskies struggled to find a consistent second scorer, which put even more pressure on the young team.

NIU was also without redshirt sophomore’s Jada Buggs and Danny Pulliam. At times Buggs was a second or third scoring option for the Huskies. In her 24 games, Buggs started 12, averaging 5.3 points per game and 20.4 minutes in the game. Pulliam only played in seven games this season but would have been a driving threat for the Huskies, as well as a defensive pest to the opposition.

It was no doubt that the loss of these three players hurt NIU. The Huskies did have some bright spots, especially when it came to Corral.

When Taylor went down the 5-foot-6 sophomore basically put the team on her back offensively. Corral led the team in almost every category with 12.7 points per game, five rebounds per game, and 34.1 minutes per game. She started all of her 29 games.

The rest of the team was too inconsistent and kept NIU wanting more. Redshirt sophomore Jenna Thorp always put 100 percent into each game but still struggled offensively to make a difference. She was a warrior, but that didn’t help increase her 6.3 points a game.

Freshman Alexis Lindstrom got more comfortable toward the end of the season offensively and was a threat from behind the 3-point line, shooting 42.5 from behind the arc. However, Lindstrom was still a freshman and she took time to get used to the Division I level, just like many other freshmen.

Inside, the NIU bigs weren’t able to take pressure off Corral or Taylor throughout the season. The Huskies failed to establish the inside game for most of the season and it showed as added defensive pressure was put on the NIU guards.

Overall, I think head coach Kathi Bennett has a lot to look forward to. She has all but two players returning. I believe if NIU can continue to be a strong defensive team, the offense will come as the players mature.