Huskies finish 1-1 at Thanksgiving Classic


Redshirt sophomore forward Ally May and junior guard Mikayla Voigt play defense in the Huskies’ 96-94 home win Nov. 18 against Western Illinois. NIU is 4-2 on the season.

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — The women’s basketball team came out of the University of Texas-San Antonio Thanksgiving Classic with a 1-1 record.

The Huskies defeated the host of the tournament, the UTSA Road Runners 69-55 in their first game Friday but then fell short against Lamar University 90-80 Saturday.

Friday — University of Texas-San Antonio

NIU (4-2) came out firing on offense right out of the gate against the Road Runners (1-5). The Huskies went on a 17-0 run in the first quarter of the game and never looked back.

All five starters scored in double figures for NIU with senior forward Kelly Smith scoring a game-high 15 points and adding six rebounds.

Defense proved to be a strong strongpoint in the game for the Huskies as they scored 22 points off of 21 UTSA turnovers.

Junior guard Courtney Woods finished with 14 points and tied her career-high with a game-high four steals. The Huskies finished with 11 steals overall as they were all recorded by a starter.

“Our top five kids did a really nice job of executing on both ends of the floor,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “We didn’t necessarily score as many points as we would have liked to, but overall, I thought our effort was good on both ends. We did a lot of things well.”

Saturday — Lamar University

The Huskies failed to carry their momentum over to Saturday’s game against Lamar University (4-3) as they were down by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter.

The lack of offense hindered the Huskies as only three players finished in double figures.

Woods and junior guard Mikayla Voigt supplied more than half of the team’s scoring, combining for 41 points.

The Huskies fell into some foul trouble, which made them struggle to find a flow on offense.

Smith and sophomore guard Myia Starks both fouled out in the fourth quarter of the game. The two combined for just 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field.

Carlsen said she was disappointed in the loss as her team just simply did not play well enough to win.

“We didn’t play smart enough to win,” Carlsen said. “We had a lot of foul trouble. I think we did not adjust well enough for the officiating to make sure that we had opportunity as far as key people staying on the floor.”

The Huskies were out-rebounded 51-39 and fell behind 16-6 in second chance points. Carlsen admitted fatigue may have played a role in the loss as they struggled to find themselves throughout the game.

“Part of [the fatigue] is having to play a lot of people some extended minutes that they aren’t used to playing,” Carlsen said. “We knew Lamar was going to be a really good rebounding team, unfortunately we had some key defensive boards that we did not come up with in situations that really hurt us.”

The Huskies shot 1-of-11 from behind the arc in the first half. They finished the game shooting 29 percent from 3-point range.

“We have some people on the team that anytime they have a look for three, we obviously want them to shoot it,” Carlsen said. “We are building around taking open looks early in the shot clock and that is not going to change, but we have to make sure that we are doing a good job of shooting high percentage shots.”

The Huskies will look to bounce back as they return home to take on Bradley University 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center.