Women’s Basketball picks up historic win


By Maddie Barret

The women’s basketball team picked up a 114-52 win against the Chicago State Cougars Friday in the Convocation Center. It was the Huskies’ third consecutive victory, keeping their record on the home court perfect.

“We knew we had to get out to a good start,” Head Coach Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “[Senior guard] Mikayla [Voigt] knocked down a three on the first play of the game, and that set the tone. We did some nice things on both ends of the floor, and I really like what I see on the stat sheet.”  

The Huskies tied a Convocation Center scoring record set on Nov. 16, 2016, when NIU took out Milwaukee 114-104 in double overtime.

NIU continued to set records on the court; Friday was also the Huskies’ first win by over 60 points since a 65-point win over Milwaukee 117-52 on March 2, 1996.

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NIU sprinted ahead with a 12-2 lead in the first 2:43 of the game with Voigt scoring nine of the Huskies’ first 12 points. Chicago State slashed the deficit to seven, making the score 14-7 at the 4:45 mark.

Voigt led all scorers with 29 points, adding a season-high eight assists along with six rebounds. Sophomore guard Gabby Nikitinaite added 19 points and seven rebounds.

Junior guard Myia Starks and redshirt sophomore guard Paulina Castro each scored 14 points as redshirt junior forward Ally May added 12 points.

The Huskies closed out the first quarter on a 11-4 run, as a May layup and a Nikitinaite 3-pointer put them up 25-11. NIU expanded its lead in the second quarter.

The Huskies had a 48-18 lead in the first 4:26 of the second quarter. NIU made seven straight shots from the field, including Castro and junior forward Ninni Salmi 3-pointers. The Huskies took a 52-22 halftime lead while shooting 60 percent from the field.

“The fact that we were able to play in the open court and play off each other is what led to a lot of easy shots for us,” Voigt said. “It all starts on the defensive end, getting a rebound and pushing the ball.”

NIU had a 77-32 lead with 4:18 left in the third quarter. In the third and fourth quarters, the Huskies shot over 63 percent from the field. Castro’s third 3-pointer put the team at the century mark, making the score 100-44 with 5:35 left to play in the game.

“Not only did we shoot the ball well tonight, but we shared the basketball,” Carlsen said. “The more we share the basketball, and the more comfortable the five that are on the floor at any given time get, taking good shots that are good for them, makes for a fun brand of basketball. I know these guys did a good job of getting the ball to their teammates to put them in a position to be successful.”

NIU will play its next game at 1 p.m. Monday in the Convocation Center when the Huskies host Brown.