Women’s basketball wins at home against Loyola

By Jacob Onak

Women’s basketball got its first home win of the season as it closed out the Loyola Ramblers 67-63 on Friday night.

Sophomore guard Amanda Corral returned to the lineup after an ankle injury with a 3-pointer to start the game and get the Huskies (3-3) going.

Loyola (3-3) kept things even in the first part of the first half, but the Huskies really found their offensive stride with six minutes left in the half, as they went on a 20-5 run to end the first half, 42-32.

Corral ended the half with 15 points in 19 minutes of play while Ramblers senior guard Monica Albano did her best to keep her team in the game, scoring 12 points in the first half. Albano ended the game with a game-high 20 points.

NIU went into the half with a lot of momentum but it was Loyola who came out hot against the Huskies. In the first 12 minutes of the second half, the Ramblers went on their own 20-6 run, giving them a 54-48 lead with a little more than eight minutes left in the game.

Loyola coach Eric Simpson was proud of the effort his team gave.

“I thought it was a good game,” Simpson said. “I thought there were some things that we did out there that were as good as we have been all year. We have a long way to go obviously but I am proud of our effort and I’m sure [coach] Kathi [Bennett] is proud of hers.”

The Huskies found their stride on a hard drive and a converted 3-point play from redshirt sophomore Jenna Thorp, which seemed to be the inspiration the Huskies needed.

The Huskies battled down until the final minutes, but converted free throws from Corral with five seconds left in the game gave the Huskies the 67-63 win against a tough Ramblers side.

Corral ended with a team-high 19 points, while senior forward/guard Satavia Taylor added 11 points of her own. Corral was proud of the way the Huskies took care of the defensive pressure at the end of the game.

“I think we handled it pretty well,” Corral said. “We’ve taken from the other losses that we have had where they’ve pressured us and we turn it over and we’ve kind of worked with each other to get open and took care of the ball and didn’t turn it over.“

Bennett said the team needed this win at home.

“I thought that it shouldn’t have been as close as what it was,” Bennett said. “We missed a lot of good looking shots in the second, half but the defensive stand that we had to make [in the second half], where we made four stops in a row, that was the big difference in the game. We needed to get a home win, so that was really good.“