Women’s basketball loses MAC Tournament first round


Junior guard Ally Lehman lofts the ball toward the basket during Saturday’s game versus Western Michigan University.

By Joren Apiquian

Women’s basketball (11-19) wrapped up its season after being dominated by Western Michigan University (17-14) 94-52 in a first-round loss in the MAC Tournament on Monday.

Junior guard Ally Lehman was named Third Team All-MAC after setting the single record for rebounding at NIU with a total of 329 in 30 games, a record that hadn’t been broken in 26 years. Lehman has a total of 15 double-doubles on the season as well. She finished the final game of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.

Western Michigan was hot almost all night, shooting 55.7 percent compared to 31.3 percent for NIU. The team took over in the second half, preventing the Huskies from scoring more than eight points in each of the last two quarters and putting up at least 20 in both. The Broncos will travel to Cleveland to compete in the next round of the MAC tournament.

Sophomore forward Kelly Smith dropped 14 points and four rebounds to lead the way for the Huskies in the loss. Freshman guard Courtney Woods contributed 10 points to follow Smith. Woods and freshman guard Mikayla Voigt became the first pair of NIU freshmen to score more than 300 points in their first season since the 1986-87 season. The loss marked the fifth-straight season that the Huskies have failed to finish with a .500 record. Their last came in 2008-09 when they finished 15-15 and 10-6 in the MAC for third place.

Head coach Lisa Carlsen said she’s looking forward to what her team can do in the offseason to prepare for next year.

“[The girls] know what needs to be done,” she said. “I think they’ll be hungry to get better, but it’s very key for a lot of these kids coming back to have a great off-season or for us to get better in different aspects of the game and for them to grow as a group.”