Women’s basketball starts slow, can’t keep pace in loss to Towson


Lauren Salemo

Northeastern’s women’s basketball team puts another two points on the board. They fell to the Towson Tigers 67-73 Friday night.

Eamonn Ryan, news staff

The Northeastern women’s basketball team looked like an unstoppable train at the end of its 73-67 loss to the Towson Tigers (12-7, 6-2 CAA) in the Cabot Center Friday night, but the Huskies (9-9, 4-3 CAA) waited far too long to leave the station as they ended the first quarter down 12, unable to catch up to the runaway locomotive of Towson.

“The first half we started out really slow,” said Northeastern head coach Bridgette Mitchell.  “And then tried to claw back, and we were able to claw back and fell short. We started off really slow as a team.”

Northeastern struggled to put passes together and move the ball effectively at the outset, while the Tigers looked polished, making crisp passes that resulted in easy buckets and a 12-4 lead four minutes in.

Sophomore guard Patricia Anumbga highlighted Towson’s first quarter effort, as she spotted up for two threes and scored eight of her total 14 points in the frame. The Tigers shot 10-of-18 and knocked down four treys to take a 26-14 lead.

Senior guard Jaelyn Batts goes for a layup. Batts posted eight points in Friday’s game. (Lauren Salemo)

A slow start could have indicated further collapse, but the Huskies began to show signs of life on the defensive end, forcing five turnovers in the second quarter.

Some tough jumpers and layups from junior guard Derin Erdogan and graduate student guard JaMiya Braxton provided all the offense for the Huskies in the second frame, but the Tigers kept pace and maintained a 40-26 lead at the break.

Mitchell employed a full-court press to open the second half, but the Tigers’ experienced guards kept the Huskies at an arm’s length until the five-minute mark, when Northeastern went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter, cutting the deficit to just six.

“We tried [the press] to get us going a little bit, mix it up, throw some things at them to get them on their heels,” Mitchell said.

Redshirt junior guard Kylie Kornegay-Lucas opened up the fourth quarter with two buckets for the Tigers, but the Huskies responded resoundingly, heightening the decibel level of the Cabot Center after Erdogan found sophomore guard Gemima Motema for an easy two on a backdoor cut. On the ensuing possession, Erdogan made a tough driving layup of her own with 7:19 to go, making it a four-point game.

The Tigers had no quit. They went punch-for-punch with the Huskies, responding with a 10-2 run over three minutes to make it a 66-53 game with 4:12 to play.

The Huskies got the score within two thanks to a three from JaMiya Braxton with 23 seconds left, but four free throws from the Tigers put it out of reach.

Erdogan led the Huskies with 21 points and Motema added 15 more, but the Tigers had five double-digit scorers, led by junior guard Alexia Nelson (16 points).

“We didn’t get the stops that we needed,” Mitchell said. “Even though we clawed back and scored 21 points, they did in the fourth quarter as well. We have to be able to … mature and close out a game from start to finish.”

The Huskies won’t be gone for long, as they host Monmouth Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. in the Cabot Center.