Huskies fall to Indiana Wesleyan at home

By Abbe Barton

With the start of the regular season approaching, NIU women’s basketball had its lone exhibition Tuesday evening against Indiana Wesleyan.

However, the result wasn’t what the Huskies were looking for as they fell 61-52.

“We take every game seriously, exhibition or not,” said NIU senior Courtney Shelton. “We have to find team chemistry and really learn how to come together and make things happen on the court.”

NIU got its hands on the ball first after tip off and quickly put the first two points on the score board as sophomore Danny Pulliam made a lay up. The Huskies pushed to keep the momentum flowing.

A few points and fouls later, Pulliam rebounded and took the ball to the basket as she helped NIU take the lead 9-5.

The Wildcats quickly responded, as sophomore Claire Freeman scored a three-pointer but still left her team trailing by two points.

After a timeout, Indiana Wesleyan came back and set the pace for the remainder of the game. Quickly, the Wildcat’s gained a four point lead over the Huskies 20-16.

With 30 seconds left on the clock at the end of the first half, Pulliam made a shot, tying the score 22-22.

Pulliam again made another shot with three seconds left and ended the first half with NIU in the lead 24-22.

“I think my motivation is my teammates,” Pulliam said, who had a time-high 18 points. “I really try to be the best that I can be for myself as well as for the coaching staff.”

NIU senior Kim Davis scored 11 points. Only Pulliam and Davis hit the double-digit scoring mark for the Huskies.

As the players returned to the court for the second half, the Wildcats took the lead and would remain ahead for the majority of time.

With 15 minutes on the clock in the game, the score was tied 33-33 after an IWU three point shot.

Four minutes later, NIU trailed 43-38.

The Wildcats kept the five-point lead and ran with it, and the Huskies never recovered. One area that helped propel Indiana Wesleyan over the Huskies was winning the three-point battle, as the Wildcats connected on nine of 14 attempts from beyond the arc.

“This is definitely what I didn’t want to see,” said NIU head coach Kathi Bennett. “We didn’t play as a team. We got out- hustled and outworked. We have a lot to overcome in that area, and we didn’t help each other out. Also, there wasn’t a whole lot of encouragement going on, and that’s something for us to be successful. That’s something that has to change.”