DeKALB, Ill. – SIUE women's basketball ran into the No. 2 offense in the nation Friday as Northern Illinois defeated the Cougars 97-78 at the Convocation Center.
"We fought tonight, but we have to stay engaged defensively each and every possession," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "There were times I thought we were locked in defensively against a top offensive team."
Northern Illinois improved to 6-3 by hitting 12 three-pointers and having five players score in double figures. Cassidy Glenn led all scorers with 24 points. Courtney Woods added 21, including five three-pointers. Ally Lehman added a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists.
SIUE, 3-6, was aggressive in the paint with 50 of its 78 points inside. The Cougars also added nine three-pointer, the most since the season opener at South Dakota.
The lead switched six times, but it was a game of big runs with Northern Illinois getting the final one with the Huskies getting a 16-5 run late in the fourth period.
"Their runs were bigger," said Buscher. "There were several times where we made a run on them, but they had more runs and that shows in the score."
Lauren White led SIUE's offense with a career-high 20 points. Donshel Beck picked up her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Nakiah Bell and Amri Wilder added 12 each. The 12 points for Wilder was a career high.
"I thought Amri Wilder stepped up and did a great job for us," said Buscher. "She hasn't been there all season as she had been tonight."
SIUE now heads south for its second tournament of the season. The Cougars travel to DeLand, Florida, to face host Stetson Monday and Bethune-Cookman Tuesday.
"I realize the schedule we have put together this season," said Buscher. "I may not like our record right now, but if we stay focused and stay focused we'll be better on the other end."