NIU’s streak ends abruptly

By Todd McMahon

During the NIU women’s basketball team’s eight-game winning streak, coach Jane Albright-Dieterle had spoken of how her team was growing as a unit.

Tuesday night, the 24th-ranked Huskies were given a big clue as to how much more growing needs to be accomplished as No. 3 Iowa put an end to the streak with a 92-59 victory before 1,798 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes (13-1) took advantage of their height inside as Toni Foster scored 25 points (10-of-18 shooting). Tia Jackson tallied 18, while Necole Tunsil added 14.

Cindy Conner led the Huskies with 25 points (four

three-pointers), while E.C. Hill chipped in with 17.

Iowa finished with 29 offensive boards and 50 rebounds all told, compared to just 28 for NIU (10-3).

The nation’s top defensive team also held the Huskies in check by forcing 22 turnovers—half of these resulting in Iowa steals.

“They’re not only quick, (but) they’re fast and they’re strong,” said Albright-Dieterle of the Hawkeyes. “There’s really no way to attack them. They really didn’t have a weakness we could find.”

The Huskies were denied any chance of exposing an Iowa deficiency after the opening two minutes. A 2-2 tie at the 18:31 mark turned out to be the closest NIU would get the rest of the night.

The Hawkeyes rattled off eight straight points in the next minute and a half and then extended that lead to 27-9 with 12 minutes remaining.

Continuing its defensive pressure and interior success on offense, the Iowa advantage was increased to 25 (42-17) with 7:25 showing on the stadium scoreboard.

However, instead of packing it in and anticipating Thursday’s home date with Western Illinois, the Huskies displayed their “don’t give up” attitude with a 12-1 flurry to make it 43-29 at the 2:33 mark.

Although NIU trailed 49-29 at the half, the Huskies came out more determined in the early stages of the second half. Two Hill baskets—one coming on a three-pointer—and a Conner field goal cut the deficit to 49-36 with 18:26 left.

But four Huskie turnovers and a couple missed shots fueled Iowa’s offense as the Hawkeyes opened up a 59-40 cushion with five and a half minutes gone in the final stanza.

“I thought we played well today,” said Iowa coach C. Vivian Stringer. “I don’t think Northern played as well as they’re capable of.

We knew we had to play sharp in order to be successful tonight.”