Women’s Basketball: Momentum shifts away

Women’s Basketball: Momentum shifts away

By Jason Kornwitz

It felt as though momentum was on the Huskies’ side.

Judging by their increasingly consistent play over the previous two weeks, it seemed realistic to assume NU could at least compete with the formidable Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference opponents.

So much for assumptions.

An 87-41 defeat Sunday on the road against conference leader Old Dominion (12-7, 10-0) eradicated those lofty hopes.

“Anytime you have to go on the road in the CAA, it’s going to be difficult,” coach Willette White said. “We let Old Dominion do whatever they wanted. We were a little intimidated. They were bigger and stronger and more physical. But, in terms of our recruiting efforts, it really gives us an idea in where we need to look.”

Freshman guard Ashlee Feldman put up 14 points and senior forward Erica Sheppard grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Huskies (7-13, 3-8) but the Lady Monarchs had four players in double figures including junior forward Sherida Triggs (19 points).

Old Dominion dominated NU on the boards, outrebounding 62-29. The Huskies allowed their opponent 23 offensive rebounds, many leading to easy buckets in the paint.

The Huskies hit only 15 shots on 61 attempts (24.6 percent) as ODU staked an early double-digit 11-point lead just more than seven minutes in when junior forward Paula Muxuri hit a three.

Stretched to 48-14 late in the first on a jumper by senior guard Lawona Davis, NU succeeded in knocking an insurmountable lead down to 25 (50-25).

But they struggled to distribute the ball, tallying just 10 assists to ODU’s 22.

“We got some easy looks,” White said. “We got some open looks, but when we got open, we didn’t knock them down and had bad shot selection.”

Earlier in the week, NU traveled to Virginia to face George Mason (7-12, 3-7 CAA) in yet another conference game. At the time, NU had won three of its last four.

Senior forward Quiana Copeland (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Sheppard (13 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles but their efforts proved futile in a 76-65 setback.

The defeat was difficult for White, especially since NU had a slight edge in field goal percentage and rebounding. However, the difference lay in the outside game.

NU hit 4-of-17 from beyond the arc, but the Patriots hit 8-of-19.

“Some kids [on George Mason] that hadn’t had great three point percentage, got hot at some points,” White said.

The Huskies fell behind by as much as 13 points at 49-36 after a Patriots’ jumper six minutes into the second, and only managed to cut the deficit to five, 64-59, with two minutes to play.

White reflected on a lost opportunity to gain ground in the CAA.

“I think that [the game] could have easily gone either way. We have them in a week and it will be interesting to see what we took away from this,” she said.

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