By Jose Castillo, inside columnist
Back-to-back victories propelled the Northeastern University (NU) women’s basketball team to a .500 winning percentage, but they weren’t able to keep up the momentum on senior night on Wednesday, March 2, falling to Hofstra University in the last game of the regular season.
On Friday, the Huskies hosted The College of Charleston at the Cabot Center, jumping out to an eight-point lead in the first quarter. The Huskies kept up the pace through the second and held a 19-point advantage by halftime.
In the fourth, the Cougars cut the lead into the teens after senior forward Kelsey Booth made a 3-pointer with four minutes to play. The Cougars ripped off a 18-7 run to start the fourth but ultimately fell short, and the Huskies prevailed 78-66.
“It feels good,” said head coach Kelly Cole after Friday’s victory. “We are working at it one game at a time. It was a fantastic team effort, [with] five kids in double digits tonight.”
Sunday’s game against Towson started off close, with the Tigers edging out a 23-18 lead in the first frame.
NU trailed for the remainder of the half, falling behind by seven at the beginning of the second quarter, but trimmed Towson’s lead to two by the final minute of play.
The Huskies dominated the Tigers down the stretch, roaring from a 12-point deficit at the start of the third to an eventual 18-point win, 81-63 – their largest margin since the season opener against Boston University.
On Wednesday, the Huskies played their final regular season contest at Cabot against Hofstra. The Huskies prefaced the game by recognizing their departing seniors: Guard Tiffany Montagne, guard Kazzidy Stewart, forward Samantha DeFreese and student assistants Sade Iriah and Onia Webb.
The Pride opened the scoring, but NU shot right back. The teams traded runs throughout the half as NU took control early before Hofstra charged back to limit the Huskies to a 31-30 edge at the break.
The lead changed hands five times in the third quarter. At the end of the frame, Hofstra senior center Sandra Dongmo hit a layup to take a 50-47 lead.
In the fourth, the game continued its torrid pace as the teams traded buckets. Hofstra broke away to take a two-possession lead at the 3-minute mark. The Huskies unsuccessfully struggled to keep contact, eventually losing 71-64 to the Pride.
Despite the disappointing ending, the Husky seniors reflected fondly on the night.
“Before the game, I felt pretty normal,” Stewart said. “It was just a normal game. It was pretty nice having my family out there. It was just exciting to have this be my last game.”
DeFreese, who will go down as one of the best players to don the red and black after tallying over 1,000 points in her career, looked back on her tenure at NU with pride.
“I’ve had a great career here,” DeFreese said. “I’ve had great memories playing here, great memories playing with these girls. There was a lot of love in this gym, a lot of fans, and at the end of the day, it was bittersweet.”
Wednesday’s game marked the end of the regular season for the Huskies. In two weeks, the team will open Colonial Athletic Association tournament play in Marlboro, Maryland as the 6 seed in a rematch with Hofstra.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.