The Northern Illinois women’s basketball team’s third bid for a three-game winning streak came up short against Eastern Illinois, 72-62, on Thursday night at Lantz Arena. The setback came due large in part to the Panthers’ opportunistic defense and sound offensive rebounding.
Despite a solid shooting night for NIU (45.8 percent), the Huskies could not overcome a 22-12 turnover discrepancy that led to 26 EIU points. Conversely, NIU (6-5) held its opponent under 40 percent shooting (33.9 percent) for the sixth straight game but EIU (8-4) cleaned up its misses with a 16-5 offensive rebounding edge that helped the Panthers notch a 15-4 advantage on second chance points.
The Panthers, who are now a perfect 5-0 at home, were also the beneficiaries of aggressive offense as they drew 25 fouls to NIU’s 16 and racked up a 33-13 edge in free throws made en route to ending a five-game losing streak to the Huskies.
Courtney Shelton led all scorers with a season-high 22 points, giving her five double-figure scoring games this season. Claire Jakubicek and Satavia Taylor each scored 11. For Jakubicek, it was her fourth double-digit output of the season and first since scoring 19 against Illinois Chicago on Dec. 14. For Taylor, it was her second double-digit scoring effort, matching the 11 points she scored in her Huskie debut on Dec. 11 at Chicago State.
The Huskies have just one day off before returning to action as they travel to Chicago to face No. 19/21 DePaul on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 PM CT.