Women’s Basketball: Northeastern drops pair to top conference teams

Women’s Basketball: Northeastern drops pair to top conference teams

The Huskies were matched up against two of the best the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has to offer this past week.

A casual glance at the box scores reveals an 89-75 loss to Old Dominion (14-8, 10-1 CAA) and an 85-63 loss to No. 25 James Madison (22-2, 13-0 CAA), stretching the Huskies’ losing skid to eight.

But a closer look reveals a Husky squad that fought hard against two bigger and more talented opponents, which is just what head coach Daynia La-Force Mann is looking for from her squad at this point in the season.

“[We] did some really good things in terms of competing,” she said. “[I’m] really proud of what we’ve done.”

Old Dominion came into Solomon Court Thursday night with an NCAA- record 15 straight CAA titles.

The Huskies were unfazed and trailed by only three at halftime. Sophomore guard Ashlee Feldman had 14 points to pace the Huskies in the first half.

The second half was all about a certain No. 23 with the last name Jordan.

That would be ODU junior T.J. Jordan, who hit seven of her CAA record 10 three-pointers in the second half as the Lady Monarchs started to pull away. Overall, Jordan shot 12-25 from the floor (10-22 beyond the arc) for a game-high 34 points.

“We were trying to locate [Jordan] at all times. We lost our intensity in the second half and T.J. went off,” said junior guard Shaleyse Smallwood.

With Jordan’s hot shooting and the solid interior play of sophomore forward Tiffany Green (15 points, 7 rebounds), ODU built a 60-49 lead with 12:43 left and never again let the Huskies creep within single digits.

The 75 points for NU represent the team’s third highest total on the year and the second most allowed by the Lady Monarchs.

Senior captain and point guard Jody Burrows made her first start since returning Jan. 28, but played only six minutes before leaving with an injury after becoming entangled with an ODU player. She is listed as day-to-day.

Freshman forward Kendra Walton saw her first action since leaving with an injury Dec. 2, giving the Huskies 14 solid minutes off the bench to the tune of five points, two rebounds and two steals.

Four Huskies were in double figures, led by Smallwood, who posted 21 points and 11 assists for her first double-double of the year. Junior guard Lucia Pablos had 17 points, Feldman had 16 on 4-8 shooting from beyond the arc and junior forward Stefanie Hodell chipped in 12 to go along with nine boards.

“I’m very happy,” La-Force Mann said of one of the Huskies’ most balanced attacks of the year. “[To] score 75 points against an Old Dominion defense [is an accomplishment]. I’m very proud that we didn’t back down … we’re not playing like a 3-19 team.”

The Huskies traveled to Harrisonburg, Va. to take on the James Madison Dukes Sunday. NU once again fought hard, but the Dukes used their size advantage to dominate the game in the paint, out-rebounding NU 48-22 and outscoring in the paint 32-16. However, the pesky Huskies were able to force 20 James Madison turnovers.

“Forcing 20 turnovers against JMU showed that we are a scrappy team defensively,” La-Force Mann said.

CAA player of the year candidate Alexis Meredith ripped the undersized Husky front court for 21 points and 17 boards. The senior center is currently second in the conference in scoring and first in rebounding.

The Huskies only trailed 59-50 with 9:06 left in the game, but JMU went on a 9-0 run to neutralize the Husky threat.

Despite the lopsided final score, JMU coach Kenny Brooks had high praise for the fighting Huskies.

“[They’re] the best 3-20 team in America,” he said.

Pablos continued her breakout year with 20 points and seven rebounds. Feldman and Smallwood each had 13 points, while Hodell had 10.

Northeastern (3-21 2-9 CAA) will host Georgia State (15-9 7-6 CAA) tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Solomon Court.

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