A’Jah Davis’ dominating performance helps Huskies beat Buffalo

NIU+sophomore+forward+A%27Jah+Davis+%28center%29+high-fives+her+teammates+Feb.+3%2C+during+the+announcement+of+the+starting+lineups+at+the+NIU+Convocation+Center+in+DeKalb.

Patrick Murphy | Northern Star

NIU sophomore forward A’Jah Davis (center) high-fives her teammates Feb. 3, during the announcement of the starting lineups at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb.

Justin Kelley, Reporter

DeKALB — The women’s basketball team extended its win streak to five after defeating the University at Buffalo Bulls 81-75 Saturday. NIU secured the win off of controlling the boards and a stellar performance from sophomore forward A’Jah Davis.

NIU controlled the boards throughout the game and recorded 54 rebounds with 19 of them being offensive. Davis had a career-high 19 rebounds for NIU and scored 17 points in her 26 plus minutes of play.

NIU also received contributions from sophomore guard Chelby Koker who led the team in points with 20. 

Buffalo’s top performer was sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair with 18 points and six assists. The Bulls also received contributions from first-year guard Cheyenne McEvans with 15 points.

Both teams struggled to figure things out early in the first quarter, only combining for eight points in the first three minutes of the game. NIU took a 11-6 lead after a 3-pointer by Koker with a little over four minutes left to go in the quarter.

From there it was all Buffalo as they went on a 10-0 scoring run and took a 15-11 lead with a little over two minutes left in the quarter. The Bulls extended their lead to six at 19-13, after a layup by Fair with a little over a minute left to go in the quarter.

Buffalo went to take a 25-17 lead after the first quarter led by Fair with 10 points and four assists. NIU’s top performer in the first quarter was Davis with six points and four rebounds.

NIU cut the deficit to 27-25 early in the second quarter after an 8-2 scoring run finished off by a 3-pointer from Koker with two minutes gone in the quarter. Sophomore guard Grace Hunter tied the game at 31 with a 3-pointer, with six minutes left in the quarter.

The game remained close throughout the remainder of the second quarter as both teams exchanged the lead six times. Buffalo was able to retake the lead 38-37 after a layup by Fair with little over a minute left in the quarter.

The Bulls took a 42-37 lead heading into halftime, led by junior guard Jazmine Young with six points. NIU’s top performer was Hunter with five points.

The Huskies cut the deficit to 44-42 early in the third quarter after a layup by Davis with little over left in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by redshirt senior guard Paulina Castro tied the game at 47.

NIU went on to retake the lead 49-47 after a layup by Koker with a little over six minutes left in the quarter. The Huskies lead did not last long as Buffalo tied the game at 51 after a layup by McEvans with a little over two minutes left in the quarter.

The Huskies retook the lead and created some separation, 55-51, after a free throw by Davis with a little over a minute left in the quarter. Buffalo was able to tie the game up at 57 after a layup by Fair with four seconds left in the quarter.

After the third quarter the game was still tied at 57. NIU’s top performer in the third quarter was Castro with eight points, while the Bulls were led by McEvans with eight points.

NIU took control of the game in the fourth quarter, jumping out to a 65-61 lead after a free throw by first-year guard Jayden Marable with little under six minutes left in the quarter. A layup by Fair cut the deficit down to 68-66 with a little over two minutes left to go in the quarter.

The Huskies were able to withstand a late push from the Bulls and out scored Buffalo 13-9 in the final two minutes. NIU went on to win the game 81-75. 

NIU’s top performer in the fourth quarter was Koker with eight points, while Buffalo’s top performer was junior forward Keowa Walters with five points.

With the win, the Huskies’ record improves to 11-6 on the season, and 9-3 in Mid-American Conference play. 

The Huskies’ next game is 5 p.m Wednesday against the Ohio University Bobcats in Athens, Ohio.