The IUPUI women’s basketball team lost to Northern Iowa Friday night 53-40 to drop to 5-2 on the season. The Lady Jags struggled to find the hoop, shooting 32 percent from the field and 20 percent from deep.
Both teams struggled shooting throughout the game as each played stellar defense. The Jaguars were able to hold the Panthers to 39 percent shooting and 31 percent from three. Though the game resulted in a loss, it was a defensive performance to build off.
“We have got to forget about this one and move on,” head coach Austin Parkinson said. “I thought we defended pretty well but you can’t pitch a no hitter on defense and play as poorly as we did on offense.”
Points in the first quarter came at a premium. The Jaguars shot a rough 33 percent from the floor while the Panthers shot 41 percent. Sophomore sensation Macee Williams started the game hot as she scored the first nine points for the Jags, leading them to a 9-5 lead near the end of the first. The Panthers stormed back and went on a 7-2 run to end the quarter on top 13-11.
Things changed quickly in the second quarter as the Panthers started to pull away with the lead. The Jaguars were unable to stop the offensive attack presented by the Panthers, who shot 57 percent and 66 percent from three. The Jaguars also led the quarter in turnovers with five compared to NIU’s four. A long four-minute scoring drought hurt the Jaguars as they gave up a 6-0 run toward the end of the quarter. A Panther buzzer beating shot ended the second with the Jaguars down 32-21.
“Tonight we didn’t get as many good looks,” Parkinson said. “We didn’t have as much tempo on offense and made it really difficult on ourselves.”
The Jaguars struggled to begin the third by missing their first five shots from the field. It took nearly three minutes until junior Holly Hoopingarner nailed a three to kick things off for the offense. She started what would be a 9-0 run, led by senior Sydney Hall who racked up two points, one assist, and one rebound. The tide appeared to be turning until the Jaguars shooting hoes returned once again. IUPUI missed its final two shots and turned the ball over four times within three and a half minutes as the deficit stretched to 43-30 to finish the quarter.
The fourth quarter proved to be even more of a struggle offensively. Senior Allex Brown scored early before the Jags went scoreless for six minutes. During the span, the Jaguars committed four turnovers and missed four shots.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” Williams said. “I think we need to give more time to making our shots in practice.”
To finish the game, the Jaguars limited the Panthers to three points within the final six minutes for a final score of 53-40. They were able to hold the Panthers to a meager 27.5 percent shooting in the second half, but couldn’t muster up enough offense to capitalize
Williams led the team in scoring and rebounding with 13 points and 10 boards. She also tied the team high with two assists. Senior Tamya Sims notched eight points, two rebounds, one block, and one steal.
The Jaguars start a two-game road trip Monday in Terre Haute to face the Indiana State Sycamores followed by a trip to Iowa City to play Iowa on Dec. 8.