Huskies won’t be dancing this season, lose to JMU 81-65


Mike Puzzanghera

The No.7 seed Huskies could not get past No.2 seed JMU, subsequently dropping out of the CAA tournament.

Niyati Parikh, news staff

Despite the comeback bid late in the second half, the No. 7 seed Northeastern women’s basketball team couldn’t follow through Thursday evening, dropping to second-seeded James Madison University, 81-65, and in turn, eliminating themselves out of the CAA tournament. 

The Dukes opened up the evening with a 7-0 run, an opening start that NU never seemed to recover from. Freshman forward Izzy Larsen scored the first basket of the game for the Huskies. Larsen went on to score the first six points, fighting hard given the 22-6 lead that JMU had. The Dukes had a dominant first quarter, scoring 29 points in the opening 10 minutes to the Huskies’ 10. 

“We did a lot of the things that we set out to do. If you take away that first quarter, we would have won by three but unfortunately, that’s not how the game works,” Northeastern head coach Kelly Cole said. “We just got off to a really slow start.” 

To start the second frame, freshman guard Maddie Vizza dropped her first and the Huskies’ first three-pointer of the night. Senior guard Stella Clark grabbed the steal and went to the end finishing up with an easy layup, 32-15. A hail mary pass from Clark to junior guard Kendall Currence found the bottom of the net to create a clutch and-one situation. 

The Huskies battled back from the first frame and shot 50% during the second quarter to bring the margin within 10 points of the Dukes. 

Graduate student Ayanna Dublin dribbled past two defenders to start the third frame and brought the game within eight points, the closest it had been all game since the opening toss-up. A stellar pass from Clark found Currence who made the jumper to bring the game to 53-45. The third quarter ended with the Dukes still up, 59-48, with 10 minutes left for the Huskies to find a way to end on top. 

Sophomore forward Mide Oriyomi played an integral part in the comeback attempt, as she scored all her 16 points during the second half of the game. Dublin joined Oriyomi and Currence in the double figures, scoring columns with an easy layup between two defenders. 

It wasn’t a night for triples for NU, but Clark connected on a much-needed bucket, 70-59. 

“Unfortunately we didn’t move the ball the way we needed to in order for us to get the three-pointer looks,” Cole said. 

Key players for the Huskies included Oriyomi, with 16 points and five rebounds, Currence, with 16 points and seven rebounds, Dublin, with 10 points and three assists and Clark, with nine points and eight assists. 

Even with the strong efforts by Currence and Oriyomi, the Huskies’ season came to a close in the 2021 CAA quarterfinals as seniors Clark and Dublin adorned the red and black for their final game.