Late rallies are becoming standard fare for Huskies

By David Lance

When losing in the second half, count on the Huskies making a late run.

The result isn’t always victorious, but a Huskie comeback is often times a frantic one.

NIU’s women’s basketball team was up to its old tricks Wednesday night at Chick Evans Field House. There, the Huskies found themselves losing to Southern Illinois 42-34 at halftime. As usual, a rally ensued.

But this run wasn’t just helter-skelter. It was one of substance. NIU beat the Salukis 87-84.

The comebacks, however, are not a Huskie favorite.

“I don’t prefer close games because it’s a little too iffy,” said Huskie guard Dee Dee Jeske, who contributed 16 points. “It could go either way. But it helps get the fans in the game.”

“At least we know when it comes to tournament time … we know we can play under pressure,” said NIU’s Deb Teske, who finished with 14 points, scoring 10 of them in the second half. “But it is fun to have a blowout every once in a while.”

NIU made its move with just under 14 minutes left in the game. Down 55-42, the Huskies went on an eight-point run in under two minutes, capped by an E.C. Hill steal and layup.

The lead soon see-sawed and with 2:53 left, the Huskies were down one. But two Angela Lockett free throws put the Huskies up 74-73 and they never lost the lead.

“(SIU’s) a team we always have a great, great game with,” NIU head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle said. “I thought if we could get it down to the last five minutes of the game we could beat them. Number one, because we’re at home and we’re where we want to be. We have a great crowd. They give us energy.

“And we have a lot of people who are pressure players.”

Teske and Jeske agreed.

“Everyone did their job,” Teske said.

“On the court you can see everybody really getting intense and really wanting to win,” Jeske said. “I think when we started to come back, everybody just kept their composure and we just started hitting shots.”