Huskies ‘fire’ at UWGB

By Todd McMahon

Leave it to the general to spark her troops.

After a first half in which NIU’s women’s basketball team turned the ball over 12 times, shot just 41 percent (14-34) from the field and found itself in a 41-41 draw, Jane Albright-Dieterle may have given her greatest address of the season Thursday night at halftime.

The “word” definitely got across as the Huskies turned to their heavy artillery in the final 20 minutes and pummeled Wisconsin-Green Bay 85-76 at Chick Evans Field House.

“Coach lit a fire under our butts,” exclaimed freshman Charmonique Stallworth, who turned in a career night with 20 points (7-of-9 from the floor), 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in 29 minutes off the bench.

“We had an old-fashioned sermon in there,” said Albright-Dieterle. “It’s what you call a southern sermon of why we are here at Northern and what our jobs are. Without any cussing, we got the point across.”

The Huskies, who improved to 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the Mid-Continent Conference, responded with a 21-9 spurt in the opening 7 1/2 minutes of the second half to put the game pretty much out of reach for the young Phoenix (3-7, 1-1).

Stallworth and Cindy Conner (11 points), who was held to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half, paced NIU in that run with five and seven points, respectively.

But not to be forgotten was the successive three-point bomb from Leslie Pottinger and steal and layup by E.C. Hill, which gave the Huskies their first double-figure lead of the game at 60-50 with 12:47 remaining.

Hill, for the fourth time this season, led NIU with 22 points. She was 9-of-15 from the field, dished out six assists and was responsible for a handful of UWGB’s 20 turnovers, finishing with three steals.

“The youth that we have give us fire,” Albright-Dieterle said. “They give us a stubborn, competitive … go-at-it type of attitude. That’s really what we’re looking for.”

The Huskie seniors were not to be outdone as Debbie Teske came up big once again versus her native state’s school with 18 points.

Dawn Schirmacher led four Phoenix in double figures with a game-high 23 points. Eleven of those came on free throws, which tied a UWGB single-game mark.