DeKALB — Falling behind early, women’s basketball lost its Wednesday night match against the Central Michigan University Chippewas 66-60.
Woods led the Huskies with a double-double, scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds. During the first quarter Woods hit a layup to give her 2000 career-points.
“I like for the most part how we went about our business,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said to TuneIn Radio. “I thought defensively we did a pretty good job, especially in the second half.”
Junior guard Maddy Watters hit a couple of 3-pointers to give the Chippewas an early 6-0 lead before first-year A’Jah Davis put the Huskies on the board by hitting a pair of free throws. Watters would finish with 13 points, one of three CMU players to finish in double-digit scoring.
During the first quarter, the Chippewas sparked a 16-5 scoring run lead by junior forward Kyra Bussell. Bussell scored nine of her 19 points during this run, putting the Huskies down 15 points in the second quarter.
The Huskies trimmed the Chippewas’ lead down to two points after sophomore forward Mikayla Brandon made two layups late in the second quarter. Redshirt senior Courtney Woods scored seven points in the second quarter, fueling the Huskies comeback. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the Chippewas scored seven straight points to end the half with a 35-26 lead.
“We felt like we gave the ball away way too much in the first half, and if we were going to have an opportunity to stay in it, that had to change.” Carlsen said to TuneIn Radio
After the half, the Huskies found traction going on a 12-4 run to start the third quarter. Multiple Huskies were able to find the bottom of the net leaving NIU down by one with six minutes left.
“We were able to stay locked in, especially defensively; giving ourselves an opportunity to continue to look for opportunities on the offensive end,” Carlsen said to TuneIn Radio.
However, the Chippewas responded with another run, scoring 10 straight points to put NIU back down eleven.
The Huskies continued to battle until they found themselves within one point again in the fourth quarter. The two teams started to trade baskets, and neither team was able to pull away. In the end, the Chippewas were able to hold on after another Watters 3-pointer sealed the game.
For most of the game the Huskies controlled the boards, pulling down 16 offensive rebounds. However, the Huskies couldn’t convert on the extra attempts, finishing with 11 second-chance points. The Huskies shot 50% from the free throw line, missing four in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We let them have a couple of easy ones,” Carlsen said to TuneIn Radio. “This is a tough place to play, and this is a great basketball team and those are situations you just can’t let that go.”
Two other Huskies scored in double digits, including junior guard Gabby Nikitinaite with 17 points and senior guard Myia Starks with 10 points.
The Huskies’ next game will be on the road at noon Saturday, traveling to Bowling Green, Ohio, where they will face the Bowling Green State University Falcons at the Stroh Center.