Women’s basketball looks to rebound against the Huskies



Matt Lofgren

The Flashes (14-4, 5-1) fell last Saturday to MAC West foe Ball State in an emotionally draining overtime loss.

The Flashes (14-4, 5-1) fell last Saturday to MAC West foe Ball State in an emotionally draining overtime loss. One of the main causes for the 69-65 loss was the failure to make the easy shots when they needed them most, and the Flashes know they need to fix that mistake quickly.

“We need to focus on making the easy buckets,” senior forward Taisja Jones said. “Missing the shots that we missed against Ball State really messed us up, and I feel like just making the layups and the free throws will make us a lot better.”

In the comfort of the M.A.C. Center, the Flashes are on a 14 game home winning streak that dates back from its start on Jan. 19, 2010, which includes an 8-0 mark at home this season.

The Flashes are a confident bunch with the crowd at their back.

“You actually know people that come to the games, and since you’re at home you play as hard as you can,” Jones said.

“You don’t lose on your home court because it’s almost like disappointing your family. We just play harder for each other.”

Jones was the leading scorer for the Flashes against Ball State with 21 points and has been a key factor for the team’s offense all season. Her performance Saturday was good enough to bump her up to the Flashes leader in points, averaging 14.7 per game.

Against Ball State, the Flashes shot an uncharacteristic 11-of-18 from the line (61 percent) as the team averages almost 70 percent from the charity stripe. The missed opportunities were a big factor in the game, but even more problematic was the missed open looks from the field. As a whole, the Flashes shot 35.7 percent (12-for-31) from the floor, but took 70 shots in the process.

Northern Illinois, on the other hand, is having a more difficult season than the MAC leading Flashes. After falling to four MAC West opponents straight, the Huskies are riding a two-game win streak over Ball State and Miami in their last two matchups.

Marke Freeman is the Huskies’ star player and reigning MAC West player of the week. Looking to dim the Flashes with her three-point shooting, Freeman is shooting 45 percent from beyond the arch.

With Freeman averaging 16.5 points per game, the Flashes have to continue their strong defense in order to keep the senior from getting on track early, all the while watching the solid post offense of the Huskies.

“We need to slow her down and try and make her take tougher shot and not get easy buckets,” Jones said. “I think defending in the post will be real important as well because they have a good post player in (Ebony) Ellis.”

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].