Women’s basketball falls to Toledo, suffering its fifth-straight loss

By Quentin Wilson

DeKALB — Women’s basketball suffered its fifth-straight loss Saturday after falling to the University of Toledo 63-51.

A cold third quarter doomed the Huskies, turning a back-and-forth game into a blowout. The Rockets built a 20 point lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, forcing the Huskies to fight the deficit and themselves, as the team struggled to shoot the ball effectively. 

“[We] struggled offensively,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “In that third quarter [we] got ourselves in a position where we were in quite a deficit and didn’t put enough positive possessions together to dig [ourselves] out of it.”  

First-year guard Grace Hunter led the Huskies with 11 points. Hunter shot 60% from 3-point range, nailing three 3-pointers in the game.

The first quarter looked promising as the Huskies were able to jump out to an early 9-4 lead. Toledo was able to regroup and storm back with an 11-2 point run to take the lead late in the first half and never look back.

Redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods was the Huskies’ second leading scorer, finishing the game with nine points. Her efforts in the first half kept the Huskies in the game, as the Huskies were only down by three at halftime. 

Redshirt senior forward Ally May exited the game with an apparent lower-leg injury in the first half. Her absence forced the Huskies to rely on their bench more. Carlsen was not able to provide an update about May’s status. 

In the third quarter, the Huskies lost their touch on offense. NIU shot 18% from the floor in the quarter, hitting only two field goals.

“We did not do a good job of playing as a unit and really setting each other up,” Carlsen said.

The players could not create a shot for themselves or each other, as the team was only able to log eight assists throughout the game. 

“We have a lot of people playing kind of differently,” Woods said. “Once we all figure it out together, especially the first five, then we will get a lot better.”

Toledo continued to keep its defensive intensity through the second half, forcing the Huskies into bad shots and turnovers. The Huskies shot 35% from the field for the game, and committed 17 turnovers.

“We’ve got to credit Toledo; they kind of hang their hat on their defense,” Carlsen said. “I thought they did a real nice job of making things difficult.” 

The Huskies’ record drops to 4-10 following their third straight defeat in Mid-American Conference play.

“Our issue is internal,” Woods said. “I don’t think other teams are doing anything too crazy to stop us. We really have to figure it out ourselves.”

The Huskies return to the court 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center when they face off against Kent State University.