Courtney Woods and Myia Starks shine in their final game at the Convocation Center


Jarrett Huff | Northern Star

Senior guard Myia Starks (left) and redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods (right) wait for the inbound March 4 during NIU's 70-62 win over Ball State University at the Convocation Center.

Quentin Wilson, Reporter

DeKALB — Women’s basketball protected home court Wednesday on its final home game of the season by defeating the Ball State University Cardinals 70-62.

In a game where both teams were trading baskets early, the Huskies shined in the second, cutting turnovers, scoring tough buckets and playing stout defense.

In the first half, the Huskies had 12 turnovers; in the second, they only had six.

“Our concern the first half was taking care of the basketball,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “It was a little bit intentional in the second half to make sure we didn’t get ahead of ourselves.”

Redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods scored nine points in the third quarter while going on a 7-0 scoring run of her own to give the Huskies a 40-34 lead. Woods tied with Ball State junior forward Oshlynn Brown for the game’s leading scorer at 20 points.

First-year guard Chelby Koker scored eight points in the third quarter to increase the Huskies’ lead to nine with a minute left. Koker finished the game with 10 points off the bench.

The Huskies’ defense stood tall all night, allowing no easy shots for the Cardinals. Carlsen was happy with her team’s rebounding effort, as the Huskies out rebounded Ball State by eight.

“Our ball screen defense was really good, and then out of that being able to rebound is the next critical piece,” Carlsen said. “Both of those things were solid.”

In the fourth quarter, the Huskies held on to their lead by taking care of the basketball and hitting free throws. The Huskies had zero turnovers in the quarter, allowing them to get the most out of each possession.

Senior guard Myia Starks scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth to help lead the team to victory. Starks hit a pair of free throws in the last 10 seconds to keep the game out of reach for Ball State.

Courtney Woods and Myia Starks shine in their final game at the Convocation Center 2
Jarrett Huff | Northern Star
Senior guard Myia Starks drives down the left side of the court March 4 during NIU’s 70-62 win over Ball State University.

“Our composure showed at the foul line,” Carlsen said. “There was confidence stepping to line; there was confidence in the way [we defended]. Offensively we had confidence down the stretch.”

The Huskies will travel 1 p.m. Saturday to Toledo, Ohio for their last game of the season against the University of Toledo Rockets at John F. Savage Arena.

The game will be available for viewing on ESPN3, and listening on WLBK 98.9 FM/1360 AM.