NSC recognizes NIU’s Owens for play against NIU, N.C. State

North Star Conference Player of the Week honors went to NIU’s Carol Owens.

The 6-foot-3 Huskie cager was tabbed as the league’s standout player following a week in which she scored 77 points, grabbed 33 rebounds, blocked four shots, made 19 steals and assisted on another six baskets. The majority of which was responsible for her earning MVP honors for the 6th Annual NIU/Contel Fastbreak Fest.

The NIU-hosted tourney was the first win for the Huskies in their sixth try. They upset North Carolina State, 78-72. U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketbal gold-medal coach Kay Yow’s Wolfpack were rated anywhere from 10th to 23rd in various pre-season publications.

Before the tournament, NIU defeated Western Illinois , 81-50, in the home opener. The NIU co-captain recorded a rare “triple-double” with 23 points, 10 rebounds and a school record 11 steals. Owens followed that with 21 points and 10 rebounds in leading NIU to a 91-77 win over Butler in the first round of the Fastbreak Fest.

Owens shot 14-of-20 from the field, she was 5-of-8 from the charity stripe and she grabbed 13 rebounds in the NIU title game. The center emerged from the three-game week with a team-best 22 points-per-game and 10.3 rebounds-per-game average.

After the game, NIU women’s basketball coach Jane Albright praised Owens of her play.

“Down the stretch, Carol found a way to win the game for us,” Albright said. “Even when she knew she had already played the game of her life, she dug down a little deeper at the end of the game.”

In Tuesday night’s game against Northwestern, Owens posted a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds.

A First-Team All-North Star Conference choice in 1988, the Chicago Notre Dame High School product earned NSC Player of the Week honors once during the previous year. Her resume also includes Honorable Mention All-Mid-American Conference acclaim in 1985-86 before winning a Silver Medal as co-captain of the North Squad in the 1986 Olympic Sports Festival. Owens missed the 1986-87 campaign after an injury in NIU’s season-opener required reconstructive knee surgery.