Women’s basketball ends seven-game losing streak

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — The women’s basketball team (11-11, 3-8 Mid-American Conference) ended its seven-game losing streak Saturday at Kent State, as it dominated on offense, shooting 46.7 percent from the field to get past the Golden Flashes (11-12, 4-7 MAC) 72-62.

The Huskies shot 48 percent from the field on 15-of-31 shooting in the first half.

NIU outscored the Golden Flashes 27-12 in points in the paint and led 11-2 in fast break points through the first 20 minutes of the game.

“It was definitely a team effort,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen. “Everybody on the team who played and who came off the bench did a great job. Regardless of what the stat sheet says, as far as intensity and things especially on the defensive end, it was all around great effort.”

The No. 1 leading scorer in the MAC, junior guard Courtney Woods, accounted for nearly half of the team’s points in the first half while shooting 75 percent from the field.

Woods, who ranks No. 13 in the nation in overall scoring, finished with a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists against the Flashes. She has now scored 60 total points in her two appearances against Kent State this season.

“She was typical Courtney as far as being consistent, being able to put the ball in her hands and making something happen,” Carlsen said. “Not just scoring the basketball, but distributing the basketball as well. She was definitely solid.”

The Golden Flashes struggled to shoot the ball, as the team shot 4-of-23 from behind the arc.

The Huskies maintained the lead for most of the game with their largest lead reaching 13 points with 2:09 remaining in the third quarter.

“I think it just goes back to our ability to stay on [Kent State] on the defensive end,” Carlsen said. “They hit a couple of tough shots in that stretch, and we didn’t ever have that fear on our face. We didn’t ever panic. I think that is truly the difference.”

Junior guard Mikayla Voigt scored her 1,000th career point as a Huskie in the game. She finished the contest with 19 points, four assists and four rebounds. She shot 54.5 percent overall and played all 40 minutes in the game.

Voigt has been a huge component to the Huskies’ roster depth, as she ranks No. 1 overall in the MAC, averaging 36.5 minutes per game.

Coach Carlsen said the team is in a situation where they need Voigt on the floor a majority of the time to be their primary ball handler.

“She has a great understanding of what we are trying to do on the offensive end,” Carlsen said. “Tonight was by far her best game when it comes to being able to get to lead the offense and making sure that we are getting quality looks each time down the floor.”

This was the Huskies’ first win since Jan. 6 when they defeated the University of Buffalo, 86-84, at home.

NIU will look to replicate its recent road game success against the University of Akron 6 p.m. Wednesday in Akron, Ohio.