Basketball grabs a home win


Senior Courtney Woods defends St. Francis sophomore Paige Gieseke during the Huskies’ Nov. 3 59-54 victory

By Justin Kelley

The women’s basketball team beat the North Dakota State University Bison 81-63 Wednesday at the Convocation Center. The Huskies also hosted multiple schools from the DeKalb area for Educational Day.

Educational Day is a collaboration between NIU athletics and local schools, allow younger kids to attend a collegiate sporting event.

“It’s a great opportunity for the young kids in our community to see a collegiate basketball game,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “Obviously it provides a lot of energy, and it’s louder than any other time through the year.”

The Huskies jumped out to a hot start shooting 55.8 percent from the field and went four of nine from three-point territory. The Huskies’ defense held the Bison to 33.3 percent shooting and forced them to turn the ball over six times in the first quarter.

The Huskies started to pull away in the second quarter as they forced the Bison into four turnovers. Senior forward Courtney Woods had four of her 25 points in the quarter as well, which help the Huskies take a 43-28 lead into the half.

So far this season, Woods had been struggling to move the ball efficiently, only shooting 30.6 percent in first four games. In this game, Woods went 10 for 17 from the field and had six rebounds with four assists, picking up the pace.

Coach Carlsen said she is very optimistic about her star forward’s ability to score the ball in upcoming games.

“We have played a tough non-conference so far, and [Woods] has gone up against tough individual and team defense, which has made her battle to score,” Carlsen said.

The Huskies extended their lead in the third quarter, and Woods scored at will as she went three of four from the field with two rebounds. Sophomore Gabby Nikitinaite provided four bench points, shooting 50 percent behind the three-point arc as well.

With the Huskies being up by 22 points to start the fourth quarter, Carlsen emptied the bench to finish the game. Sophomore guard Errin Hodges scored four points and had four rebounds to help secure the 81-63 victory for the Huskies.

The Huskies next game is against the University of Montana Lady Grizzlies at 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Montana.