Huskies pull off late-game comeback win over BGSU

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Jarrett Huff

Redshirt junior guard Janae Possion (center) celebrates with redshirt senior guard Paulina Castro (left), sophomore guard Chelby Koker (second from right) and senior forward Riley Blackwell (right) Dec. 10, after making back-to-back 3-pointers during NIU’s 82-79 loss to the University of Toledo at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb.

Justin Kelley, Reporter

DeKALB —  The women’s basketball showed off its tenacity in a 79-78 comeback win against the Bowling Green State University Falcons Wednesday. NIU at one point was down by 20 points in the second half and outscored BGSU 44-36 in the second half to secure the win.

The Huskies did not have a great start to this game and were held only to 25 first half points. Ball control was a major issue for NIU in the first half as they turned the ball over 14 times in the first quarter.

Out of halftime NIU’s ball handling improved and only had 10 turnovers in the second half. This was a key factor in NIU’s comeback 

The game started with some sloppy ball handling early in the first quarter as both teams combined for nine turnovers. The Falcons were able to overcome those turnovers and took a 9-2 lead with a little over six minutes left in the first quarter. 

BGSU pushed its lead to 21-5 after a 3-pointer from senior guard Madisen Parker with a little over three minutes left in the third quarter. The Huskies did not fare as well in the first quarter as they only made two shots in the first quarter.

The Falcons took a 25-7 lead after the first quarter, led by junior guard Kadie Hemplfing with nine points. NIU’s top performer was redshirt junior guard Errin Hodges with all seven of NIU’s points.

NIU’s defense came up huge early in the second quarter, keeping BGSU scoreless through the first five minutes. During that time NIU was able to cut the deficit to 10 at 25-15 on a 10-0 scoring run.

The Falcons did not falter though, and were able to extend its lead to 31-17 after a 3-pointer from Parker with a little over three minutes left in the second quarter. A layup by redshirt junior Janae Possion cut the lead to 31-21 with a little over two minutes left to play in the second quarter. 

The Falcons went to take a 42-25 lead heading into halftime after a 11-4 scoring run over the final two and half minutes of the second quarter. BGSU’s top performer was sophomore guard Olivia Trice with nine points, while NIU was led by sophomore forward A’jah Davis with seven points.

BGSU extended its lead to 45-25 early in the third quarter after a 3-pointer from Hempfling with a little over nine minutes left to play. With a little over seven minutes left to play in the third quarter, NIU cut the lead to 49-34 after a layup by first-year guard Jayden Marable.

From there NIU seemed to take control of the game and outscored BGSU 17-8 over the remainder of the third quarter to cut the deficit to five points at 57-52. BGSU’s top performer’s for the third quarter were senior center Anglea Perry and Hempfling. NIU’s top performer for the third quarter was sophomore guard Chelby Koker with seven points and three rebounds.

The Huskies tied the game 57-57 early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer from Possion with a little under nine minutes left to play in the quarter. The Falcons immediately took the lead after a Perry layup in their next possession.

A free throw by Hodges gave NIU its first lead of the game, 66-64, with a little over four minutes left to go in the fourth quarter. The Huskies would extend its lead to 75-68 after a 3-pointer from Koker with a little over two minutes left in the quarter. 

The Falcons still had some fight left and cut the deficit to three at 79-76, after a 3-pointer from Hempfling with less than a minute to play. Tenisons started to escalate when Koker was called for a technical foul during a battle for the ball.

Due to that call, BGSU was awarded the ball and two free throws, which were converted by Flemming, making it a one-point game,79-78, with two seconds left in the quarter. 

After the free throws the Falcons had a great opportunity to win the game, but first-year guard Kenzie Lewis’ layup rimmed out and NIU held on to win 79-78.

NIU’s top performers in the fourth quarter were Possion and Koker with eight points each. BGSU’s top performer was Fleming with 11 points.

The Huskies’ next game is 1 p.m. Monday against the Ball State University Cardinals in Muncie, Indiana. The game will be available on ESPN+.