Defense sparks 4th quarter run for women’s basketball


Northern Star Staff

Freshman guard Janae Poisson runs the ball around an Illinois State University player on Nov. 26 at the Convocation Center.

By Danielle Brown

BUFFALO, NEW YORK — The Huskies used a fourth quarter stretch, which included 16 unanswered points, to rally past the University at Buffalo Bulls, 89-80, Saturday in Buffalo, New York.

NIU forced Buffalo (16-7, 6-6 Mid-American Conference) to take two timeouts during a point in the game which included 10 consecutive defensive stops by the Huskies.

This win is the Huskies’ (17-6, 10-2 MAC) sixth consecutive win on the road and eighth road win of the season.

“[Staying out of foul trouble] was a really big key for us, and [I] told the team that in order to be successful today, we needed to stay out of foul trouble,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen. “We knew we weren’t going to have a lot of players, and some of those players weren’t going to be able to come out of the game. I told them, ‘We need you on the floor for every possible minute’, and they did a great job of not picking up anything cheap while still playing aggressive.”

Senior guard Ally Lehman led the Huskies with 29 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, making this her 15th double-double of the season. Sophomore forward Courtney Woods also registered a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Kelly Smith finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, one rebound away from a double-double.

The Huskies also got scoring contributions from sophomore guard Mikayla Voigt, who had 17 points and handed out three assists.

The teams played evenly in the first half. Both teams hit 16 shots from the field in the first half, but the Huskies outscored the Bulls in the paint, 20-8. Buffalo managed to keep it close and took the lead going into the halftime break, 39-38.

Buffalo started off the second half with some speed and quickly accumulated an eight-point edge over the Huskies. The Huskies sped up their pace as well and put points on the board, but they were down five after the quarter, 65-60.

A 16-0 run in the early stages of the fourth quarter put the Huskies in control of the game. The Bulls were not able to rebound from NIU run and eventually fell, 89-80.

This was NIU’s first win at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena since Feb. 12, 2011, when the Huskies won in overtime, 61-53.

The Huskies return to the court to face the Miami University Redhawks (9-16, 3-9 MAC) 6 p.m. Wednesday in Oxford, Ohio.