Woods becomes NIU’s second leading scorer all-time in loss to Ball State


Redshirt senior Courtney Woods (left) looks to make a pass Feb. 1 during NIU’s 64-63 win over the University at Buffalo at the Convocation Center.

By Justin Kelley

DeKALB Redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods became NIU’s second leading scorer in program history. Woods passed Carol Owens on the list by scoring 18 points in a 97-89 loss to the Ball State University Cardinals on Wednesday. 


Woods passed Owens with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter and now sits 936 points  behind Lisa Foss for career-points scored as a Huskie 


Outside of Woods’ historic night NIU struggled controlling the ball, as the team turned the ball over 24 times which helped Ball State score 29 points.


“29 points off those 24 turnovers, puts a lot of pressure on your defense in transition,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “We did not handle that very well, obviously they shot a ton of free throws that did not help our situation.”


 Woods was not the only Huskie to reach double digits in scoring, as first-year guard Chelby Koker, junior forward Riley Blackwell and first-year forward A’Jah Davis had 16 points, 13 points and 12 points respectively.


Ball State also had a fair share of double-digit scorers, as graduate transfer guard Jasmin Samz, junior forward Oshlyn Brown, sophomore forward Thelma Dis Agustdottir, redshirt first-year guard Anna Clephane and first-year guard Sydney Freeman all scored in that range.


Brown was Ball State’s leading scorer with 28 points, then Agustdottir was second with 15 points. Freeman scored 13, while Samz scored 11 and Clephane scored 10.

Ball State started the game on a high note, outscoring NIU 13-5 through the first three minutes of the first quarter. The Cardinals rode that early success and increased the lead to 24-13 after a made free throw by Brown. 


NIU made a slight run at the end of first quarter, outscoring Ball State 10-5 in the final four plus minutes. Ball State took a 27-20 lead after the first quarter, led by Brown with 12 points, while NIU’s top performer was Woods with 7 points.


NIU came out white hot to start the second quarter, knocking down two of their first three shots in the quarter. NIU stayed hot throughout the quarter and tied the game at 29 with a little over six minutes left in the second quarter.


The Huskies then took a 32-29 lead after a 3-pointer by Koker. NIU’s lead did not last though, as Ball State was able to bounce back and retake the lead 38-37 after layup from Freeman.  


Ball State took a 41-37 lead after the second quarter, led by Samz with six points. NIU’s top performer was Koker with six points and grabbed two boards.


Both teams battled back in forth for the lead early in the third quarter, as there were two lead changes and two ties in the first four minutes of the quarter. Ball State went on to take the lead 57-48 and control the game after a 9-0 scoring run capped by a layup from first-year forward Annie Rauch. 


The Cardinals took a 69-54 lead after the third quarter, led by Brown with nine points and five boards. NIU’s top performer was senior forward Ninni Salmi with seven points and grabbed two boards.


The Cardinals’ momentum carried over to the fourth quarter, as they knocked 46.7% of their shots and made 12 of their 17 free throws. NIU had its best offensive output in the fourth quarter by making 63.2% of their shots, scoring 35 points. Unfortunately for the Huskies, it was too little too late as Ball State went on to win 97-89. 

NIU’s next game is 1 p.m. Saturday against the Central Michigan Chippewas at the Convocation Center.The game will be available on ESPN 3.