Huskies comeback heads south against Western Michigan

By Matt Hopkinson

NIU women’s basketball came up just short in overtime against Western Michigan, losing a hard fought contest 66-64.

The Huskies didn’t knock down a single field goal until 11:46 in the first half, as they scored their first four points on free throws and were down by eight points.

NIU came back to score 16 more points while Western Michigan scored 13 to end the first half at 27-22. There was a brief moment of hysteria as freshman forward Natecia Augusta threw up a prayer shot with 1.4 seconds remaining, making it, but not within the shot clock limit.

“I felt like it was a really uneven game, a hard to play game,” said NIU coach Kathi Bennett. “Credit to Western – they exposed some things and did a great job defensively on us. We weren’t our normal selves on defense tonight.”

The Huskies came out of the gate strong in the second half, going on a 9-0 run in the first four minutes.

The remaining of the second half was played tightly, with both teams trading leads back-and-forth until the 2:18 mark, as it was tied 52-52.

NIU went up by one on a free throw by redshirt freshman Jenna Thorp as she made one of two.

The next score came from freshman Julia Henson of Western Michigan, who hit a three to put it up by two. Junior guard Aurielle Anderson hit two free throws to put the Broncos up by four with 22 seconds left.

The Huskies would make an unusual comeback as junior Satavia Taylor took the inbound pass and drove down for a layup to get within two with 12 seconds remaining.

Western would go on to botch its inbound pass, allow NIU to recover the ball and score on another layup from Taylor with nine seconds left to tie the game.

“We definitely needed points,” Taylor said. “I guess my mindset was just score. Drive to the lane, either make the shot or get fouled. Get back in transition and get a steal.”

NIU would go on to play the Broncos close in overtime, but ultimately came up short as Anderson of Western Michigan took over scoring all of its overtime points. Taylor would steal an inbound pass with two seconds left and lay it in, for the final score.

Western Michigan’s head coach Tasha McDowell declined to take part in post-game press conference.