Hedderson halts Huskies momentum

By Matt Hopkinson

Following its first victory in its last seven games, NIU women’s basketball suffered a 62-46 loss to Buffalo.

Buffalo (6-14, 1-5 MAC) was sparked by its leading scorer, senior guard Brittney Hedderson, who put up 29 points while sinking five of seven three-pointers as well as grabbing eight rebounds.

“She’s got a bounce to her game; she can drive and then make that leaner,” said NIU coach Kathi Bennett. “She’s a special player. We knew that coming in.”

NIU (7-11, 1-5 MAC) struggled in the first half, getting to 11 points with just under five minutes left.

The score at half-time was 35-22 in Buffalo’s favor.

Buffalo did all its damage in the first half from distance, shooting a blistering seven of 11 from behind the arc.

The Huskies had their chances in the second half as Buffalo continued to turn the ball over, finishing with 28 in the game.

NIU got within 13 with three minutes left, but never could get closer than that. After Hedderson sank a few free throws, the game was sealed.

“I thought they opened the door for us many times,” Bennett said. “It’s frustrating because we play our butts off and we never made two shots in a row to get on a roll. For them to have 28 turnovers and us 46 points, that says a little bit.”

Buffalo senior forward Beth Christensen had a career-high 16 rebounds, helping them edge the Huskies 43-33 on the boards.

“All the time and effort in our preparation was out on the floor today,” said Buffalo coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. “I thought we could have done a better job with offensive rebounding.”

Although there still is a lot to learn for the Huskie roster, that cannot be the fall-back answer to poor play.

“There was a little lack of intensity there; we didn’t pick it up until the second half,” said NIU guard Courtney Shelton. “I thought we got good looks today, but we weren’t finishing.”