Women’s basketball drops final road game to Toledo

Huskies end road play with a loss to the first-placed team in the Mid-American Conference.


Summer Fitzgerald

NIU junior forward A’Jah Davis attempts a layup against Toledo freshman forward Jessica Cook during a matchup on Jan. 15 at the Convocation Center in DeKalb. Davis and Cook finished as the leading scorers for their respective squads in their latest matchup on Mar. 3. Davis finished the game with 30 points for the Huskies while Cook recorded 14 points for the Rockets. (Summer Fitzgerald | Northern Star)

By Waleed Alamleh, Sports Reporter

A career-high 30 points by junior forward A’jah Davis wasn’t enough for the women’s basketball team as it was blown out in its last road game of the regular season at the University of Toledo Wednesday in Toledo, Ohio. The loss snapped the Huskies’ three-game winning streak.

How it happened

Toledo’s offense got it going right from tip-off, jumping out to an early 12-3 lead three minutes into the game. The Huskies used a 12-4 scoring run to cut the lead down one, after a made jumper by Davis with 1:22 left in the first quarter. Toledo ended the quarter on a 5-2 run, increasing its lead to 21-17.

The second quarter is where it all fell apart for NIU. The Huskies started strong, even getting within one point of the Rockets with 4:37 left in the second quarter. NIU was shut out for the rest of the quarter as the Rockets went on a huge 20-0 run to break the game open. The Rockets shot a wildly high 66.7% from the field in the second quarter and took a 49-28 lead into half.

The second half was similar to the end of the first half. The Huskies were not able to get much going on the offensive end aside from Davis, who posted her 11th straight double-double of the season. Toledo was content on wasting the clock down much of the half, only scoring 25 total points over the final two quarters. The Rockets won the game by a final score of 74-56.

Thoughts from coach Carlsen

Thoughts on the Rockets’ big run at the half:

“In the second quarter I thought we lost our focus, we were too occupied with officiating or missed shots,” head coach Lisa Carlsen said on Huskie Sports Radio Network. “Anytime you do that against a good team, you’re just opening up the door for them to take it at you.”

On A’Jah’s big night:

“They decided they weren’t gonna double and when you don’t (double) that’s what A’Jah is capable of doing,” Carlsen said. “She took 24 really good shots, she’ll probably tell you that she should’ve had 40 (points).”

On the stakes for Saturday’s regular-season finale:

“We have a lot to play for on Saturday,” Carlsen said. “We’re excited to be back home to celebrate our seniors and have one last chance in front of our fans before hopefully going to Cleveland to make some noise.”

The end result

The loss drops the Huskies from fourth to sixth in the Mid-American Conference standings with a 10-9 record in conference and 13-14 overall. Toledo is still ranked first in the MAC with an 18-1 conference record and 24-4 overall.

Looking ahead

NIU will be coming home to DeKalb to celebrate Senior Night at 1 p.m Saturday against Central Michigan University. The Huskies will secure a spot in the MAC Women’s Basketball Championship with a win. The game will be available on ESPN+.