NIU women’s basketball recap: Huskies 66, Kent State Golden Flashes 49

What happened

Women’s basketball (6-8, 2-2 MAC) put together one of its most complete games of the season as it beat the Kent State Golden Flashes (3-13, 1-4 MAC), 66-49, Saturday at the Convocation Center.

How it Happened

The Huskies used a 20-4 run spanning the halves to pull away from the Golden Flashes. NIU closed the first half on an 8-2 run to take a 32-25 lead into the break after Kent State pulled within 24-23. The baskets kept falling as NIU opened the second half on a 12-2 run to go ahead 44-27 with 15:46 to play.

The NIU offense was powered in part by a stingy defense that held Kent State to eight points in the opening 13:03 of the second half.

The Huskies put together a strong offensive and defensive performance for one of the few times this season. The 66 points scored is the Huskies fourth-highest total in 14 games, and the 49 point allowed is the fourth-least total given up by NIU.

NIU did a good job moving the ball to get an open shot. It finished with 17 assists on 22 made baskets.

The Huskies’ starters scored 54 of the team’s 66 points. Sophomore guard Ally Lehman, who came in averaging 8.5 point per game, paved the way with 19 points. Senior guard Amanda Corral poured in 13 points, and redshirt senior forward Jenna Thorp chipped in 11 points.

The Huskies were out-rebounded 41-34. Kent State grabbed 16 offensive boards, which head coach Kathi Bennett said is something the Huskies need to work on limiting.

The number

6: That’s the number of turnovers NIU committed. It’s the second-lowest number of turnovers by the Huskies this season. Their season-low was five turnovers against the Valparaiso Crusaders Nov. 20 at the Convocation Center.


Northern Star Player of the Game

Sophomore guard Ally Lehman scored a game-high 19 points on 8-14 shooting. She grabbed six rebounds and tied her career-high with six assists. She added one block and one steal.

CiCi Shannon, Kent State redshirt senior center, posted a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She also blocked four shots and dished out two assists.

The quote(s)

“I felt like our guards really attacked. I thought we got into the paint, kicked it out and made the extra pass where we got that open look,” said head coach Kathi Bennett. “And so I thought we had some good ball movement. I think it started from some dribble penetration from our guards off the ball screen.”

“I know she’s scored more points, but this is one of the best games I’ve seen Ally have in an NIU uniform,” Bennett said. “And I say that because she was complete at every level. … Ally always has to defend one of their better players. She’s our leading rebounder, had a boatload of assists and led us in scoring. And she led us vocally the whole game, like stayed on everybody to stay after it. For me, that was a very complete game from one of our captains. I’m really proud of her.”

“Well, coach has gotten on me lately for not being prepared to shoot, being so scared,” said sophomore guard Ally Lehman. “So, I just didn’t really think about it. My post set me up well in screens… .”

Up next

The Huskies head back out on the road after a brief one-game homestand when they take on the Ohio Bobcats 6 p.m. Wednesday in Athens, Ohio.