DeKALB — After being down big in the first quarter, women’s basketball won its second straight overtime victory, defeating the Miami University–Ohio RedHawks 86-84.
Redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods led the Huskies with a double-double, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Woods hit the game-winning shot in overtime to give the Huskies its third win in four games.
It was a true team effort for the Huskies as five players scored double digit points, while the team shot 46.8% from the field.
“We’re trying to get [the ball to] Courtney as much [as possible], everybody knows that and the beauty of that is it really takes attention away sometimes from other players,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said.
In the first quarter the Huskies got off to a hot start, shooting 27.8% from the field and scoring only 11 points in the entire quarter.
Senior guard Lauren Dickers scored seven of her 17 points in the first quarter, helping the Redhawks lead grow to 18 points.
In the second quarter the Huskies rallied back, as junior guard Gabby Nikitinaite scored eight straight points for the Huskies to tie the score at 30 with two minutes left in the quarter.
“I think it's no secret that Gabby has been an x-factor for us in the last couple of weeks,” Carlsen said. “She has been engaged in everything that we run… She has been playing with a lot of confidence.”
Although the Huskies entered the third quarter down one, they had momentum from the end of the half. Nikitinaite hit a 3-pointer early in the quarter to give the Huskies their first lead of the half. NIU’s lead grew to 11 at one point, however by the end of the quarter the Redhawks cut it down to three.
Both teams attempted to finish strong, neither showing signs of giving in during the fourth quarter. For most of the quarter the Redhawks were fighting from behind. Miami senior forward Savannah Kluesner led a comeback, scoring 11 points in the quarter. Her efforts help put the RedHawks up two with just under two minutes left to play.
In the final play, Nikitinaite found redshirt senior forward Ally May for a close shot off the glass with five seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Overtime was similar to the fourth quarter. The Huskies were up three until Kluesner hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 84.
For the last possession, the Huskies held the ball for the final shot. May missed her shot, but recovered her own rebound. She finds Woods for a wide open midrange jumper, hitting the shot and giving her team its fourth overtime victory.
“We are sort of comfortable now, we had a really good couple of weeks of practice,” Woods said. “I think everyone is playing a lot better individually, so we’re playing a lot better collectively.”
The Huskies will be back in action 1 p.m Saturday against the Western Michigan University Broncos at the Convocation Center. The game will be available on ESPN3.