NIU women’s basketball: Amanda Corral leads Huskies in dismantling of Bowling Green


Senior guard Amanda Corral plays in a game against the Bowling Green Falcons Wednesday at the Convocation Center. Corral tied her career-high with 30 points in the 67-50 victory over the MAC East foes.

By Steve Shonder

What happened

Women’s basketball (7-10, 3-4 MAC) improved to 5-1 at home as the Huskies blew out the Bowling Green Falcons (9-10, 2-6 MAC), 67-50, Wednesday at the Convocation Center. This was the first time the Huskies beat Bowling Green since their 102-97 quadruple-overtime win Feb. 18, 2004.

How it happened

The Huskies leapt to a 9-2 lead early in the first half and never looked back as they dominated both ends of the floor for 40 minutes. After senior guard Amanda Corral hit a jumper at the 7:37 mark in the first half, NIU held onto at least a 10-point lead until the 8:21 mark in the second half.

The Falcons made it close in the second half, using a 17-0 run to cut NIU’s lead to five. Bowling Green freshman Rachel Myers hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the run. Corral stepped in to stop the bleeding with a layup before freshman Kelly Smith followed up with a jump shot and a 3-pointer to push the Huskies’ lead back to double figures, where it stayed for the rest of the game.

The Huskies shot 48.2 percent from the field while shooting 45.5 percent from the 3-point line. While they didn’t get to the free-throw line very often, the Huskies didn’t need to as they poured in 26 points in the paint.

The number: 25

That was the rebounding deferential NIU held over the Falcons. They out-rebounded the Falcons, 45-20, including 12-2 on the offensive glass.

Northern Star players of the game

Corral tied her career-high with 30 points. Only missing three shots throughout the game, Corral hit every shot the Huskies needed her to, including dropping in a clutch layup to end Bowling Green’s 17-0 run in the second half. She was also 4-4 from the 3-point line.

Smith put up 15 points and snagged 13 rebounds as she picked up her first career double-double at NIU.

Bowling Green’s Myers struggled from the field early, but she picked up her game at the right time for the Falcons, keying their 17-0 run with a burst of eight-straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers. She finished with 10 points and two assists.

The quotes

“Defensive rebounds, we were just really boxing out,” Smith said. Bowling Green “only had [two] offensive rebounds. We were just really aware of getting to the girl and pushing back, and a lot of times, the guards would swoop in and get it.”

“Before the game, we talked about being confident, and … I tried to be aggressive and confident,” Corral said. “I got a lot of good looks, inside-out from the post players and extra passes that I think I got open on.”

“Our schedule, as far as travel-wise, has been brutal,” said head coach Kathi Bennett. “I feel like you get to sleep in your own home, you’re in a routine, you practice in this gym, you shoot well in this gym, that’s the home-court advantage. We’re taking, you know, advantage of that.”