‘C.O’ graces the top spot with 1,825 career-points

By Carl Ackerman

Records are made to be broken.

Every day a new record is set somewhere in the world, but one was set very close to home by NIU’s women’s basketball star Carol Owens.

Owens, also known as C.O., has set her share of records for the Huskies which range from most points in a season to most blocked shots in a career, but perhaps her most important NIU record came in an 83-50 win against Illinois-Chicago last Wednesday.

Owens became NIU’s all-time leading scorer with 1,825 points. The mark surpasses former record holder Lisa Starosta (1,810), whose tenure lasted between 1980-85.

Not only did she break the women’s record, but she is within 25 points of NIU’s all-time leading scorer Allen Rayhorn.

“I remember looking at Lisa Starosta’s record points as a freshman. I never thought I could come that close,” said Owens. “A couple of weeks ago people were saying how close I was to the record. I didn’t realize it. It’s not something I was worried about. What’s important is winning and getting in the tournament.”

Owens admitted that it’s great to hold the record, but she still isn’t fully satisfied with her play. NIU coach Jane Albright, however, seems very pleased with Owens’ performance.

“She has been a catalyst in helping the team gain national recognition and becoming a Top-25 program. She has been a very key player. I’m very happy for her,” said Albright.

“The really neat thing about Carol is that the honor she gets isn’t the biggest for her. The biggest thing for her is that it helps our team,” added Albright.

Since coming to NIU, Owens has seen her team improve from 8-19 in 1985-86 to 23-7 last year. Currently, NIU is holding a 16-3 mark.

Freshman year for Owens was a big adjustment from high school. She said she just wanted to fit in with everyone else, but found out Albright’s demands were more than she expected.

“At first, I didn’t quite enjoy it. I couldn’t see us becoming a Top-20 team or being a part of the NCAA as a freshman, but it became a reality as the years went on,” said Owens.

One thing that has become a reality since 1985 is Albright’s thoughts that Owens could become a dominant player for NIU.

“She has grown with the program and the program has grown with her. It’s a difference between night and day from her freshman year to now. One thing she did was totally rearrange her physical body. She’s the massive muscle now, but (as a freshman) she was a very weak player physically. Mentally, I don’t think she was an exceptionally strong player either. I think working out and conditioning was the part she hated, but she learned that she had to do that to become excellent.”