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MAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals Preview: Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois

The #4 Huskies are the highest seed left after a crazy quarterfinals

Scott Walstrom, NIU Creative Services

Western Michigan knocked off the high scoring number 1 seed, Central Michigan. Up next is a loaded Northern Illinois team that is even more high scoring than the Chippewas. The teams split during the regular season, with the home team winning each. What was interesting to me is that Northern Illinois won the lower scoring of the two games.


Game Details

  • When:Friday, March 10th, 11 a.m.
  • Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPN3 or via stream on the watchESPN app
  • Listen: 1660 AM The Fan in Kalamazoo/ WLBK 98.9

Scouting the Broncos

Western Michigan is a well coached team that packs the ball down low. They move at their own pace, and don’t usually get rattled.

Against the Chippewas, they stayed just close enough to be able to pull out the win late.


Scouting the Huskies

They try to beat opponents by outscoring them. When they do settle down and try and run their offense, they like to have Ally Lehman create off the dribble.

Defensively, they are last in the league. A big reason for that is the pace they play at.


Players to Watch

Deja Wimby, Western Michigan: Not only does she average 12.2 points per game, she also creates for her teammates, averaging 5.2 assists a game.

Breanna Mobley, Western Michigan: The 6’1 forward from Lansing is averaging 14.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Ally Lehman, Northern Illinois: A do everything player, she is averaging 18.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

Courtney Woods, Northern Illinois: Woods is one of 5 Huskies that average double digits. She is the second leading scoring on the team, at 16.8 points per game.


Keys to the Contest

The Broncos need to maintain composure, and not play a different style when Northern Illinois goes on one of their inevitable runs.

On the Huskies side, they need to protect the middle while avoiding foul trouble. Mobley and Marley Hill do a really good job of taking over down low.


Prediction

Both teams pulled out crazy late minute wins. It’s really hard to predict how each team is going to respond. The style the Broncos play is better suited for the tournament, so I am going with them in a close one, 80-75.