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Kaneland matched host DeKalb's intensity in Tuesday night's physical Northern Illinois Big 12 East showdown, but never found a way to solve the Barbs' suffocating defense.
The Knights mustered just 8 field goals in 31 attempts and turned the ball over 19 times as DeKalb claimed a hard-fought 46-31 victory to remain undefeated in conference play.
DeKalb senior guard Taylor White connected on four 3-pointers as part of a game-high 16-point effort and the Barbs (19-4, 7-0) kept Kaneland at bay by connecting on 19 of 25 free-throw attempts.
Allyson O'Herron paced Kaneland (14-8, 5-2) with 9 points off the bench while Ashley Prost and Emma Bradford added 6 points each.
"The fact of the matter is they're a good team," credited Kaneland coach Ernie Colombe, whose team dropped a 42-33 decision to DeKalb on Dec. 13. "They denied cuts, they make you battle for position, and they go to the boards like crazy."
"To hold a team like Kaneland to 31 points says a lot about what our kids can do on the defensive end," said DeKalb coach Ben Bates.
Kaneland (14-8, 5-2) seized an 8-3 lead in the opening four minutes by doubling down on DeKalb's inside tandem of 6-foot-1 Emily Bemis and 6-foot-2 Courtney Bemis.
But that momentum was lost when center Kelly Evers and Bradford were forced to the bench with two fouls each.
The Barbs went on an 11-point run over the next seven minutes, grabbing a 13-8 lead they would never relinquish.
"Our defensive plan worked early, but then we got into foul trouble and then momentum swung and we couldn't get it back," Colombe said. "It was a big key to the game. We didn't have the matchups we wanted defensively."
Prost scored on a nice feed from Evers to open the second half, but Kaneland went scoreless for the next five minutes.
The Knights got back to within 27-20 as Marina Schaefer drained a 14-foot baseline jumper and O'Herron hit a runner in the paint, but DeKalb scored 5 points in the final 1:18 to reestablish a 32-20 lead.
The Barbs put the game out of reach early in the fourth as Emily Bemis (9 points) scored of an inbounds play and White drilled consecutive 3-pointers for a 40-22 lead.
"Kaneland went to a 1-3-1 and my eyes lit up," Bates said. "I was elated because we just spread them out and we knew what Taylor White can do. She got two pretty much open looks back to back and most of the time she's going to make them."
"The past couple of times we've played them we were able to keep it close because we limited Taylor White, but she got free a few times and that was a big difference."
The Knights hit 14 of 20 free throw attempts and were outrebounded by a 28-22 margin. While they were disappointed in the result, they were satisfied with their effort.
"I think we played pretty well defensively, but we just struggled to execute our offense," Prost said.
Kaneland has a couple of days to regroup and prepare for Friday's home conference game against Yorkville, where they will attempt to avenge an earlier 48-28 defeat.
"We don't have time to dwell on this game. We'll look at the tape and fix what we can fix internally," Colombe said. "We have to focus on Yorkville and Sycamore this weekend and keep moving forward."