Huskies humble MAC foe Ohio


Erik Anderson | Northern Star

By Matt Hopkinson

Revenge is a dish best served cold. For NIU women’s basketball, it was able to warm up its offense just enough to stop Ohio Saturday.

Right from tip-off, the energy level of the Huskies (10-12, MAC 4-6) was evident, as they came out aggressive on defense against the Bobcats (10-14, MAC 3-7) and up-ended them 50-46.

“You can control how hard you play on the defensive end, blocking out, and playing together,” said NIU coach Kathi Bennett. “If we can stay consistent with that, we’re always going to have a chance to win.”

NIU held Ohio to 25.9 percent shooting in the first half, and took advantage of porous defense by pounding them inside time after time, scoring 16 in the paint of their 20 halftime points.

Despite the solid defense, particularly in the paint, Ohio hung around behind a concerted trapping effort every NIU possession. This forced the Huskies to turn the ball over 18 times, while Ohio scored 15 off of those turnovers.

“Our pressing I thought bothered them,” said Ohio coach Semeka Randall. “Bottom line we didn’t come out and execute. Give credit to Northern, they played extremely hard.”

NIU was kept in the game by the duo of senior Kim Davis and freshman Claire Jakubicek. Davis and Jakubicek each scored 16 points, and as Bennett noted, the tandem played off each other through high-low action.

They both also figured in largely in the theme of the game which was the hustle plays, grabbing loose balls and offensive rebounds down the stretch.

“Last year it ended with Ohio,” said Davis. “It’s always good to beat the team that beat you. I knew I had to work my butt off and I guess flying around on the floor is part of that for me.”