Huskies extend win streak to four in Miami

Chelby Koker sets another career-high in scoring


Araya Venegas

Then-freshman guard Chelby Koker brings the ball up the court in the Huskies’ Jan. 15 loss to Kent State University at the Convocation Center in 2020. (Araya Venegas/Northern Star)

By Justin Kelley

DeKALB — The women’s basketball team extended its win streak to four after defeating The University of Miami–Ohio RedHawks 87-79 Saturday. This is the Huskies longest win streak since the 2018-19 season when they won five straight games.

NIU had success controlling the boards throughout the game on both sides of the ball. NIU had a combined total of 47 rebounds and tied their season-high 16 offensive rebounds against the RedHawks.

Sophomore guard Chelby Koker led the way for the Huskies with 29 points, five rebounds and three steals. NIU also received contributions from senior forward Mikalya Brandon and redshirt guard junior Errin Hodges.

Brandon recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Hodges scored 12 points.

The RedHawks’ top performer was sophomore guard Peyton Scott with 36 points, eight steals and seven assists. Miami also received contributions from first-year guard Katie Davison with 14 points and two rebounds.

NIU jumped out to a 10-4 lead early in the first quarter after making four of their first six shots through the first three minutes. The RedHawks cut the deficit to four at 15-11 after a 7-5 scoring run finished off by a Davidson layup. 

Late in the first quarter the RedHawks tied the game 17-17 after a 3-pointer by Davidson. Miami went to take the lead 19-17, on a jumper from Scott with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

The RedHawks held the 19-17 lead after the first quarter, led by Davidson with eight points. NIU’s top performer was redshirt senior guard Paulina Castro with six points and one rebound.

Both teams battled for control early in the second quarter as they combined to score eight points in the first minute of the second quarter. NIU retook the lead, 25-24, after a 3-pointer from Brandon with a little under eight minutes left in the second quarter. 

The Huskies lead did not last, as the RedHawks retook the lead 30-28 after a 6-2 scoring run capped off by first-year center Jada Duckett. A 3-pointer from Davidson extended the Miami lead to five at 36-31 with a little over two minutes left in the second quarter.

NIU battled back to come within one at 36-35, after a 4-0 scoring run finished off by a free throw by Koker late in the second quarter. Koker gave NIU a 41-39 lead with less than a minute left to go in the second quarter.

The Huskies held a 41-39 lead after the second quarter, led by Koker with 14 points. The RedHawks top performer in the second quarter was Scott with nine points.

NIU extended its lead to 46-40 earlier in the third quarter after a free throw by Brandon with a little over eight minutes left in the quarter. The Huskies defense had a huge influence in the third quarter, only allowing Miami to shoot 26.1% from the field.

Despite the shooting woes the RedHawks cut the deficit to 49-45 after a 3-pointer from redshirt senior guard Abby Hoff. NIU was able to withstand the push from Miami and extended their lead to 58-48 after a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Grace Hunter.

Miami battled back late in the third and cut the deficit to three at 62-59 after a 3-pointer from Scott with less than a minute left in the quarter.

The Huskies took a 64-59 lead after the third quarter led by Koker with five points. The RedHawks top performer was Scott with 11 points.

The game was highly contested early in the fourth quarter as both teams combined to score 14 points in the first two-and-a-half minutes. NIU created some separation and extended its lead to 10 at 76-66 after a Brandon field goal with under five minutes left to play. 

The Huskies would keep Miami at bay for the remainder of the fourth quarter and went on to win 87-79.

NIU’s next game is 6 p.m Wednesday against the Ball State University Cardinals in Muncie, IN. That game can be viewed on ESPN+.