NIU fell behind in the early going and never quite recovered as second-seeded Ohio ended the Huskies season in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals Wednesday in Cleveland, 72-56.
The Huskies (19-13) entered the tournament as a seven seed and defeated Western Michigan 70-69 on Monday to get to Cleveland. Ohio (26-4) moves on to Friday's semifinals.
"You obviously have to give Ohio all the credit tonight," said head coach Lisa Carlsen. "We didn't do a very good job of taking care of the basketball, so unfortunately that was the probably the difference in the game. They have a lot of weapons on the floor and they can do a lot of different things, and I thought they exploited that early. We just put ourselves in a hole that was really tough to get out of."
Gabby Nikitinaite registered her first career double-double, putting in a 23-point, 12-rebound effort, including four made 3-pointers.
Mikayla Voigt was held to 14 points on 4 of 15 shooting after scoring three points in the first half. She added eight rebounds. If the Huskies don't play in any postseason tournament, Voigt goes down fifth in program history in points with 1,741 in her career.
A season ago, Miami and Toledo qualified for the Women's National Invitational Tournament.
The Huskies turned the ball over 22 times as the Bobcats recorded 22 points off turnovers. Four Bobcats scored in double figures, led by Gabby Burris (19) and Erica Johnson (18 points, 10 rebounds). Cece Brooks added 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Huskies fall at Kansas State: NIU went up 3-0, but surrendered the last eight runs of the game in an 8-3 loss at Kansas State Wednesday.
Alex Rodriguez drove in Jake Dunham for a 1-0 Huskies lead in the second inning and Josh Mutter added on with a double to score Jordan Larson in the same frame.
Larson blasted a solo homer in the fourth to add on and had two hits.
Kansas State, which totaled 15 hits, scored a run in the fourth, three in the fifth to take the lead and four in the seventh for insurance.
Tristan Michaels took the loss for NIU after surrendering two earned runs in an inning of relief. The Wildcats' Joey Martin grabbed the win, striking out seven in 4 and 2/3 innings pitched.