Huskies coast past Cougars


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 Ryan Ostry

The women’s basketball team stayed undefeated in-state Monday with an 80-59 victory over the Chicago State University Cougars, improving their overall record to 3-1.

“I think it’s a good game to come out of there with the win,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “Sometimes it can be difficult coming off of an emotional win on Saturday and to bounce back and to jump on them from the onset eventually led us to playing well in fourth quarter [and] we did a good enough job to win.”

NIU dominated the Cougars in almost all categories, including field goal percentage where they shot 50 percent, 3-point percentage resulting in 55.6 percent and also came down with 43 rebounds.

The Huskies were led by senior forward Kelly Smith who dropped 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

“I think [Smith and Ally May] of those two are off to a great start this season as far as rebounding the basketball,” Carlsen said. “Its a area I have a lot of concern about because of our size, but I think both of those two have done a great job as far as taking care of things in the paint.”

NIU also got contributions from its other veterans when junior guard Mikayla Voigt poured in 19 points, nine assists and five steals.

“There’s so many things Mikayla’s does for us,” Carlsen said. “She distributed the basketball very well tonight. She usually is matched up on one of the other team’s best players and she just adds so much value.”

Chicago State never really posed a threat as the Huskies led the entire game, however had a bright spot resulting in 17 points and 10 rebounds from Ines Mata Boix, redshirt sophomore forward, out of Madrid, Spain.

The Cougars had a costly 24 turnovers in the game, with five steals a piece from Voigt starting sophomore guard Myia Starks.

“I think [Starks] is someone who will not be a huge scorer for us, but she does so many other things for us that we need her to do,” Carlsen said. “Pushing the ball, doing a good job defensively, distributing the basketball and every minute she’s on the floor, [Starks] evolves as a floor general.”

Carlsen went deeper than her usual seven man rotation giving minutes to everyone except for senior forward Renee Sladek and redshirt senior forward Jazmine Harris.

The Huskies will look to continue their two game winning streak as they will play in the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic, opening up against the University of Texas-San Antonio Lady Roadrunners 3 p.m. Friday in San Antonio.