Women’s basketball offensive woes continue in loss to UIC

By Jimmy Johnson

An improved second half of play was not enough for the NIU women’s basketball team as they fell to UIC on Tuesday, 50-45.

The Huskies (4-3) continued to struggle shooting the ball as they missed their first 15 shot attempts.

“We kind of spotted them a pretty big lead,” NIU head coach Kathi Bennett said. “That really hurt.”

UIC (4-2) soared past NIU early with a 9-0 run to start the game. The Huskies didn’t put points on the board until sophomore guard Brittney Callahan hit a three-pointer with 11:43 to play in the first half.

Only four Huskies contributed to a season-low 15 first-half points in Ashley Sneed, Ebony Ellis, Callahan, and Courtney Shelton.

“I thought the whole game we played pretty well defensively,” Bennett said. “But just offensively we made a lot of mistakes.”

Turnovers hindered NIU’s offensive flow as the Huskies committed 10 turnovers in the first-half and 19 total.

Shelton committed six while Ellis had five offensive miscues.

“It was just one of those games where we weren’t as ready as we were supposed to be” Ellis said.

An equal distribution of scoring never developed for NIU as the production in the back-court was missing.

Senior point guard Marke Freeman, who has been the heartbeat of the NIU offense, connected on only 1-of-11 field goal attempts.

“Marke is our best player but we know when she is off we have to step up and help her out,” Ellis said.

The bulk of NIU’s scoring success came from their inside players. Ellis put together a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Forward Kim Davis contributed nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Sneed had a career-high eight points off the bench, showing a glimpse of another potential scoring option.

“She stayed within what she knew what she need to do,” Bennett said.

NIU will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa to take on Northern Iowa for their sixth road game in eight games Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.