DeKalb dominates boards, defeats Morris in conference play

With a 40-22 edge in rebounds, visiting DeKalb powered past Morris, 52-42, on Tuesday night in Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference varsity girls basketball.

Although DeKalb shot just 16 for 54 from the floor, it had nine more field-goal attempts and shot four more free throws than Morris, mostly because of its edge on the boards.

“That was huge,” DeKalb coach Chris Davenport said. “We’ve had our struggles this year with rebounding the basketball, and the last couple games, we’ve done a much better job.”

Morris was ahead 6-3 early when forward Julie Jurasits picked up her second foul, relegating her to the bench for the remainder of the first quarter. DeKalb scored the Redskins 14-2 over that stretch, with Paige Wogen hitting a pair of 3-pointers and Alyssa Burgress adding four points.

“I think we learned from our last game, whenever they shut her down that we can actually play without her, too,” Morris guard Leona Burton said. “Even though she’s one of our main scorers and everything, we found a way around it. So it hurt us a little bit, but I think we recovered well enough from it.”

With six points off the bench late in the second quarter, Emily Burling got Morris to within 23-18 of the Barbs by halftime. Two more 3-pointers from Wogen in the third quarter helped the Barbs add to their lead, which was 37-28 entering the fourth quarter.

After Morris closed to within four early in the fourth, DeKalb scored 15 of the final 24 points to move to 10-6 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

At 7-8 overall, Morris is now below .500 for the first time this season. It is 0-3 in conference play.

“It is [disappointing],” Morris coach Kate Carey said, “We know this half of the season, Christmas on, we really don’t have any of those freebie games that we saw earlier in the season. Our conference is tough. We’re still looking to get that first conference win. I had a lot of confidence going into this game. I thought this could be it. We’ll try again Thursday [at Kaneland].”

Wogen’s 13 points led DeKalb, which got 10 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and three steals from Maddie Johnson, six points each from Burgress and Maggie Fellabaum, and five points and eight rebounds from Brittany Patrick.

Jurasits scored 12 points and seven rebounds to lead Morris, with Burling totaling 11 points and eight rebounds.