It was back and forth, back and forth. That was until Bowling Green pulled away.
NIU was defeated by the MAC-leading Bowling Green 66-58 Wednesday.
“I’m certainly disappointed in the loss but very proud of our effort,” NIU coach Carol Owens said. “We battled a very good team to the end and had an opportunity to win.”
NIU (9-12 overall, 5-5 MAC) had a chance to pull within two of BG with 1:36 left in the game but turned the ball over. BG took the lead and ran with it shooting 4 of 6 from the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds.
Both teams came out cold as there was no score for nearly two minutes. At the four minute mark, the score was 4-2 Bowling Green (19-2, 10-0). Five ties and five lead changes came in the first 12 minutes.
The largest lead of the first half was a five point Bowling Green lead, but the Huskies came back, scoring four-straight points. A BG lay up at the buzzer saw the Falcons take the lead at half 27-24.
In the second half, the Huskies came back from a six point deficit to take the lead after two-consecutive three pointers by sophomore guard Whitney Lowe, who scored 11 points and went 2-6 from beyond the arch.
BG fought back to claim the largest lead of the game at 62-53 with 3:17 remaining.
NIU managed to come back from a nine-point deficit with less than two minutes left, pulling closer at 62-58, thanks to a three pointer by junior guard Mary Basic and a pair of key free throws by junior center Kristin Wiener.
Basic led all Huskies with 15 points, and Wiener had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
NIU’s leading scorer, junior guard Stephanie Raymond, who sat out the past two games with a back contusion, played 31 minutes in the game.
“Considering Stephanie hadn’t had any real practice, she did a nice job and gave us a spark. She may not be 100 percent just yet, but she’s getting there,” Owens said.
Raymond averaged 16.3 points per game to go with 4.2 assists per contest coming into the game.