Women’s Basketball: NU winless in first week

Women’s Basketball: NU winless in first week

By Nate Owen

The Northeastern women’s basketball team came up short in their attempt to get a first win of the 2006-07 season, dropping to 0-4.

The Huskies lost a road game to Providence College on Nov. 18, then lost consecutive home games to Boston University on Nov. 21 and Canisius on Nov. 24.

At Providence, junior guard Shaleyse Smallwood scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half and senior captain Jody Burrows tied a career high with 10 assists. It wasn’t enough, as sophomore guard Ashlee Feldman’s buzzer beater clanged off the rim, leaving the Huskies on the short end of 75-74 score against the Friars.

Northeastern came out of the gates slowly and trailed 40-28 at halftime. They were behind 61-47 with 10:43 left.

The Huskies put on a late charge and almost salvaged a win in the final minutes, closing the score to 69-62 with 3:08 left. With 59 seconds remaining, Northeastern pulled to within two on a pair of free throws by Smallwood. Twenty-four seconds later, her jump shot cut the Huskies’ deficit to 75-74.

“[In the second half] our intensity level changed,” Smallwood said. “If we wanted to win, we had to change our intensity.”

The Friars’ freshman guard Kendria Holmes missed a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left. Freshman forward Kim Carr grabbed the rebound for Northeastern and the Huskies quickly moved down the court, but Feldman’s potentially game-winning jumper rimmed out as time expired.

Feldman finished the game with 15 points.

The Huskies made their home debut as part of a doubleheader with Boston University Nov. 21. The Huskies once again fell behind early, and trailed by as many as 14 during the first half.

By halftime, NU closed the gap to 41-35 and took a 53-52 lead with 12:23 left to play. With 8:36 left, the Terriers and Huskies were deadlocked at 61 points a piece, but that was the closest Northeastern would come.

BU took off on a 20-9 run and put the game away, eventually winning by a comfortable score of 93-79.

Smallwood once again paced the Husky offense, as she scored 22 points for the second game in a row to go along with five assists. She was joined by sophomore forward Joanna Ausmann, who was perfect on the night, going 4-4 from the field with two three-pointers and 2-2 at the free throw line, giving her 12 points on the night. She also had a team-high seven rebounds.

Feldman had 10 points and Burrows contributed a solid all-around effort, posting eight points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Burrows again paced the Huskies on Friday against Canisius with four points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.

“Jody is the general on the floor,” said head coach Daynia La-Force Mann. “She leads by example.”

Feldman led all Husky scorers with 21 points, and junior forward Stefanie Hodell had eight points and six rebounds.

But it wasn’t enough, as the Huskies dropped their fourth in a row.

The score was tied seven times and there were eight lead changes throughout the game. NU jumped out to a 40-36 lead to begin the second half on four three pointers by Feldman. But the Griffins took a 46-45 lead with 12:22 left and never looked back, hanging on for a 68-62 win.

La-Force Mann said the Huskies need to develop a mental toughness toward the end of games to push them into the win column.

“To win a tough game, you need to have a winning attitude,” she said. “Once this happens, [the team] will gain confidence.”

Despite the losses, she said the Huskies’ tough early season schedule will prepare them for the difficult competition in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“Each game teaches a lesson,” La-Force Mann said. “[The] kids are strong and confident. [We] are slowly working in the right direction.”

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