The women’s basketball team beat Eastern Michigan University 70-60 Wednesday in a Mid-American Conference matchup. The Huskies now move to 12-2 while playing at the Convocation Center this year.
This game was a matchup between two teams at the top of the MAC offensively and defensively. NIU currently ranks fourth in points per game averaging 75.1 and EMU allows opposing teams to score an average of 63.8 points per game.
The Huskies defense was huge to start the game only allowing the Eagles to score two points on their first 14 shots. NIU didn’t have the same offensive success scoring 13 points on 19 shots in the first quarter.
Junior forward Ally May led the Huskies in scoring with four points and two rebounds in the first quarter.
Head Coach Lisa Carlsen was proud of her team’s performance against a good defense.
“I was really proud of our team because I thought our demeanor was really good for 40 minutes,” Carlsen said to NIU athletics.
EMU clawed its way back into the game with stellar defense in the second quarter allowing NIU to score only four points. Although the Huskies offense struggled, their defense again played well allowing the Eagles to shoot 38.9 percent from the field.
Sophomore guard Gabby Nikitinaite led the Huskies in the second quarter with four points while going 2-2 from the free-throw line.
Although NIU struggled offensively throughout the the first half, they were able to take a 22-20 lead into halftime.
Both teams shot the ball well in the third quarter shooting a combined near 50 percent from the floor. Senior guard Mikayla Voigt was nearly unstoppable scoring 11 points and made all four attempts at the free throw line to start the second half.
Junior guard Myia Starks was solid for the Huskies in the third quarter adding nine points and grabbing two rebounds to help give the Huskies a 46-40 lead.
The Huskies put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter, holding EMU to 39.1 percent shooting from the field. While the Huskies defense played consistently throughout the game, their offense was inconsistent making six of there last 15 shots.
Voigt continued to score at will adding 11 points to her total while knocking down her only 3-point attempt of the quarter. Her efforts lifted NIU to a 70-60 win
Voigt said it is important for her team to win at home and do it consistently.
“We really understand the importance of defending our home court, especially when it comes to going on the road in the MAC,” Voigt said. “We’re going to face some tough environments and tough teams, so we have to take care of business at home.”
Voigt led the Huskies in scoring with 27 points and made 10 of her 12 attempts at the free-throw line.
The Huskies continue MAC play 1 p.m Saturday at the Savage Arena in Toledo, OH against the University of Toledo Rockets.