Huskies Fall to Akron in Defensive Struggle

GO HUSKIES Shaakira Haywood tallied three blocks Saturday at Akron.
GO HUSKIES
Shaakira Haywood tallied three blocks Saturday at Akron.
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 6, 2010

Box Score

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AKRON, Ohio - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team held Akron to 36.5 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers, but fell 57-39 to the Zips, Saturday at James A. Rhodes Arena.

The Zips (14-9, 8-2 MAC), who rank number one in the Mid-American Conference in points allowed and defensive field goal percentage, held the Huskies (8-14, 2-8 MAC) to just 15 points in the first half. But the NIU defense was up the challenge, limiting Akron to only 22 points on 7-of-26 shooting. The staunch effort allowed the Huskies to enter the locker room trailing by only seven, despite shooting just 28 percent (7-of-26) from the field, and missing all six three-point attempts in the period.

NIU opened the second half with a 6-2 spurt to cut the lead to three, 24-21, on a lay-up by Mauvolyene Adams (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook).That score would stand as the last Huskie field goal for more than nine minutes. During that span, the Zips took control, outscoring the Huskies 14-3 to take a 41-23 lead.

Despite their stingy first half defense, the Huskies allowed the Zips 46.2 percent (12-of-26) shooting in the second half. Akron also hit 9-of-11 free throws over the last 20 minutes to keep the game out of reach for NIU.

Junior Marke Freeman (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) broke the second half scoring drought with a three-point play at 8:31, but the Huskies could not put together enough offense to make the come back. Freeman finished the day with a team-high 17 points and three steals.

Adams provided the only other scoring spark for the Huskies with 11 points and six rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Sophomore Sarah Rogers (Chicago, Ill./Marshall) and freshman Shaakira Haywood (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) also grabbed six boards. Haywood added three points and three blocks in 17 minutes off the bench. Rogers contributed four points in 24 minutes.

Akron was led by a 17-point, five-rebound effort by Kara Murphy. The forward connected on 4-of-9 from the field and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. She was joined in double figures by center Kyle Baumgartner and guard Amber Witt, who added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The Huskies return home for their final cross-divisional game, Wednesday, Feb. 10, as they host Ohio at the Convocation Center. Tickets are available online at www.niuhuskies.com or by calling the NIU Ticket Office at (815) 752-6800.