Women’s hoops clip Redhawks’ wings

By Matt Hopkinson

Behind career-high performances from seniors Kim Davis and Courtney Shelton, NIU women’s basketball defeated Miami (Ohio) Saturday, 70-58.

Davis paced the Huskies (11-12, 5-6 MAC) offensively, shooting 9-12 from the field for 22 points.

Shelton was a factor in all facets of the game, scoring 13 points, dishing out a career-best 13 assists and pulling down seven rebounds.

“Courtney gave me a lot of assists,” Davis said. “It was more her intelligence and seeing what we had. She was able to find me when I was open.”

NIU’s freshman Amanda Corral also added 14 points, and every Huskie who played scored at least two points.

Although the offense had big individual performances, it was a team effort on both ends for NIU.

“This was the best basketball we played all year,” said NIU coach Kathi Bennett. “There was intensity from start to finish. Miami was 12-1 on their home court. I’m proud of the way we played.”

The defense enabled the Huskies to control the game as they held Miami (17-7, 7-4 MAC) to its second-lowest shooting percentage this season at 31.6, their third-lowest point total all year.

Bennett said she wanted to focus on three players for Miami; Courtney Osborn, Maggie Boyer and Kirsten Olowinski. Olowinski only managed two points.

Osborn and Boyer, however, scored 21 and 17 respectively. Osborn chucked-up a Miami-high 19 shots.

“We wanted to be physical defensively against them,” Bennett said. “It’s a team if you don’t contest and bump, they’re going to score a lot of points. Alicia Johnson guarded Osborn and did a phenomenal job.”

While this win not only brings NIU closer to .500 in the MAC, it serves notice to the conference that its not going away.

“We want to finish it out strong,” Davis said. “We want to finish the season with home court advantage going into Cleveland. We just have to work hard and stay on track to do that.”