Women’s basketball defeats Kent State


Northern Star

By Jacob Onak

The women’s basketball team (7-16, 2-8 MAC) picked up its second conference win against the Kent State Golden Flashes (3-20, 1-9 MAC) with a 52-47 victory at Kent State.

“It was definitely an ugly game but we hung in there and just executed when we had to down the stretch,” said NIU head coach Kathi Bennett.

The Huskies came out strong in the first half. They were up 19-10 with 5:26 left in the game thanks to strong play from sophomore guard Amanda Corral, along with the signature Huskies defense. NIU did not give up the lead the entire first half.

However, the Golden Flashes used those last five minutes to gain some momentum as they put together a 9-3 run to make the score 22-19 at halftime.

“I thought it was kind of a rough game,” Corral said. “We kind of pushed at the end but I think we played really well together.”

In the second half, Kent State continued its momentum and grabbed its first lead of the game with the score at 29-28 with 13:31 left to play in the half. This was the only ray of sunshine for the Golden Flashes as NIU grabbed the lead back and never gave it up.

Corral had 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while NIU had two other players scoring in double digits: Junior guard Ashley Sneed had 13 points in the game, 10 of them coming in the second half, and redshirt sophomore Jenna Thorp had 11 points with seven rebounds.

One of the big differences in the game was the 3-point shooting from NIU. The Huskies went 5-13 from behind the arc while the Golden flashes weren’t able to hit a single 3 the entire game. NIU also had a 32-26 edge in rebounds despite its 22 turnovers to Kent State’s 19.

Huskies’ senior forward Shaakira Haywood also had a decent game with six points, five rebounds and a block in her 33 minutes of play. Haywood thought the team did well to come back after Kent State took the lead.

“I think we came out a little slow but we definitely picked it up and competed with them,” Haywood said. “I think at halftime we just talked about what we needed to do to get more shots and to continue how we started, and then I think after when we realized they were up we just continued to play hard. Teams are going to get their run we just have to play hard and focus.”

Bennett was happy to see her team didn’t hold back in the second half.

“We knew that it was 20 minutes all out,” Bennett said. “This is our bye week and [so we figured], just go for it, you know? No fear, no regrets, and that’s what they did.”