NIU unable to ride the Broncos

By Chris Jurmann

Giving explosive teams a second chance to score never pays off.

Western Michigan took advantage of its opportunities in an 83-67 win over the NIU women’s basketball team Tuesday night at the Convocation Center.

The Huskies were led in scoring by junior forward Lindsay Secrest who had 16 points, five assists and four steals.

The game marked the final regular season contest in the careers of seniors Kristan Knake and Kim Boeding. The two were honored before the game.

The Broncos opened the game on a 26-8 run and never surrendered the lead. NIU made a run in the second half, but was not able to get closer than three points.

“I really thought we had Western exactly where we wanted them,” NIU coach Carol Hammerle said. “We got within three, and I’d say the next four possessions were huge in that we gave up o-boards.”

NIU gave up 11 offensive rebounds for the game. Western Michigan was able to capitalize and turn the offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.

Western Michigan was balanced in its attack, with all five scorers in double figures. Junior forward Kristin Koetsier scored 16 points to accompany 11 rebounds and four blocks.

The Huskies were held to 43.3 percent shooting, while the Broncos shot 53.6 percent from the field.

“They were a very physical team,” Knake said. “They like to body you up. We are not a team that responds well to that.”

With the loss, NIU finishes with the No. 8 seed for the MAC Tournament and hosts No. 9 Marshall at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.