Keeping the old saying that “defense wins championships” in mind, the NIU women’s basketball team exhibited a tenacious defense Monday night as it heads toward the season’s home stretch.
As has been the case throughout the 1991-92 campaign, NIU had difficulties shooting from the field, but resorted to ball-hawking defense and dominant rebounding to blow out Illinois-Chicago 84-55.
This has been the consistent pattern in most of the Huskies’ wins this season as NIU has searched all year long for the answers to its shooting woes.
However, NIU head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle feels that NIU should concentrate on its’ strengths, namely rebounding and defense.
“Every unit has a strength and I definitely don’t think shooting is one of ours,” Albright-Dieterle said. “Our strengths are our rebounding and our defense. I was real pleased with our defense … and we out-rebounded them, but our shooting percentage wasn’t where we wanted it to be.
“But, you don’t have to be a great shooting team; you can be a great rebounding team and a great defensive team and you’ll get some of those steals and get some lay-ups.”
NIU had plenty of steals against UIC as the Huskies racked up 19 thefts, including six by junior forward Dianna Wingis.
NIU also had command of the rebounding with a 56-42 advantage in that department, including Wingis’ nine boards on the night.
With the North Star Conference Tournament just around the corner, NIU will need to continue its defensive efforts and hope to improve its shooting touch.
The Huskies opponents in the coming weeks include: a road match-up at Florida St. on Saturday, Northwestern on Tuesday at home and a Thursday night encounter at home against NSC leader Wisconsin Green-Bay.