Huskies look to end regular season with win at Ball State

By Lacy Searcy

With one game left, the NIU women’s basketball team will look to end its regular season on a high note.

But there’s more at stake for the Huskies than a win. When the Huskies play Ball State at 6:05 p.m. in Muncie, Ind. they will look for a first-round home game in the MAC tournament — and revenge.

The first time these two teams played, the Cardinals played without leading scorer Julie DeMuth but still knocked off NIU 68-62.

With the MAC tournament one week away, the Huskies will need to win at Ball State and will need Central Michigan to lose to Eastern Michigan. If that scenario plays out, the Huskies will be able to clinch a fourth seed for the tournament and a first-round home game.

A first-round home game would help NIU get past the first round of the MAC Tournament. No senior on this year’s team has ever made it past the first round and played in the second round in Cleveland.

The Huskies (11-15 Overall, 7-8 MAC) are coming off a tough loss to Western Michigan.

Despite scoring a season-high 86 points, the defense gave up 89 — the most on its home floor this season.

Even with the Huskies’ porous defense, NIU forward Whitney Lowe is confident the defense will play better.

“I think it is all in our mind set,” Lowe said. “Knowing that to win a game we have to play defense. We have to shut down their leading scorers. And we can’t let them get hot and get their shots. We need to buckle down.”

The Cardinals (15-11, 8-7) will need to do some buckling down of their own. BSU has lost two-straight road games and is in the hunt for positioning in the MAC tournament.

With a win in Muncie, the Huskies will finish the season with a conference record of .500 or better for the first time since 2002-03 when they finished 8-8 also.

“One of our goals is to be .500 [in conference],” Lowe said. “We’re so close, and it’s not out of our reach. We still have a game to play.” so we will come out and try to hit that goal.”