DeKALB — It was a historic night for the women’s basketball program as redshirt senior forward Courtney Woods became NIU’s all-time 3-point field goal leader. Woods’ 280 3-pointers surpasses Kylie York’s record of 278 set in the 2009-2010 season and helped NIU defeat the Eastern Illinois University Panthers 68-41 Thursday.
Coming into the game, Woods only needed four more 3-pointers to pass York’s record, but that was easier said than done. Woods went one for five from behind the arc through the first three quarters and recorded the majority of her points from the free throw line.
In the fourth quarter Woods knocked down four 3-pointers to become the Huskies’ new leader in 3-pointers made. Woods talked about the urgency of getting this accomplishment done early in the season.
“I have been wanting to get it over and done with for a while,” Woods said. “I wasn't sure what the number was, but I think now it's over; it’s nice going back to playing and not worrying about how many more you need.”
Head coach Lisa Carlsen talked about the confidence she has in Woods and what she most impressed with her performance against EIU.
“[Woods] is a great scorer, she was great scorer the day she walked on campus, we expect her when she has looks from three especially to knock them down and she does a great job of that,” Carlsen said. “Though I laugh as her growth in other areas of her game have probably been most impressive, it's not necessarily what she go down in history known for, but if I go back and watch this tape tonight there is going to be a lot of possessions I'm going to be proud of her performance on the defensive end.”
Woods finished with 25 points and grabbed six rebounds on her historic night. NIU also received contributions from first-year forward A’Jah Davis who scored 10 points and five rebounds, both career-highs for her.
Davis said redshirt senior forwards Ally May and Abby Woollacott helped prepare her for this game and the season.
“I would like to thank my teammates,[May] and [Woollacott], since I got here in the summer they have been pushing me to a different level of basketball,” Davis said. “Especially this last couple days [when] we haven't played anyone, so going against them helped me prepare for this game.”
Both teams struggled out of the gate, as they combined to score 22 points and only knocked down 27% of their shots in the first quarter. EIU took a 14-8 lead after the first quarter, led by sophomore forward Abby Wahl with seven points.
NIU shook off the cobwebs in the second quarter, knocking down 47.1% of its shots from the field. NIU out scored EIU 19-17, cutting the deficit to 31-27 heading into halftime.
NIU’s top performer for the second quarter was Davis with 10 points and two rebounds, while junior guard Taylor Steele led EIU with nine points.
The Huskies momentum carried over into the third quarter, making nine of their 11 attempts from the free throw line. NIU went on to take the lead 38-37 late in the third quarter after a field goal by first-year guard Chelby Koker.
The Huskies extended their lead to 50-43 in the fourth quarter after a field goal by first-year guard Grace Hunter with 5:39 left. NIU went on to win the game 61-48, bolstered by Woods’s 12-point fourth quarter.
NIU’s next game is 7 p.m. Friday against Southern Illinois University-Carbondale for the Compass Tournament Championship at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, IL.