Recording season-highs in points (92), field goals (38), field goal percentage (52.8), assists (24), fast break points (24) and points off turnovers (28), NIU women’s basketball (10-12, 3-8 MAC) marched to victory on Education Day over Miami (9-13, 3-8 MAC) on Wednesday afternoon, 92-73. The Huskies shot 62.5 percent in the first half, going 25-for-40 to lead 57-29 at halftime.
Four Huskies scored 10-or-more points, led by Cassidy Glenn’s career-high 22 points. The New Lenox, Ill., native broke her previous high in the opening half with 17 points entering halftime while Courtney Woods (Brisbane, Australia/St. Margaret’s Anglican) went 5-of-8 from behind the three point line to finish with a career-high 19 points. Mikayla Voigt (16) and Jazmine Harris (14) also scored in double-figures.
NIU dished a season-high 24 assists, the fourth-time the team reached the 20 helper mark this season. Northern Illinois also recorded a +13 assist/turnover ratio.
After winning the opening tip, the Huskies did not hesitate to shoot as Woods hit a three-pointer four seconds into the game which started a 7-0 run and forced the RedHawks to take a timeout 1:12 into the game.
NIU continued its hot play, recording 12 fast break points with six steals in the opening 10 minutes to lead, 27-14. Leading 31-16 with 8:25 left in the half, the Huskies got even hotter in the second period as it went on a 26-11 run over the next 6:40, converting 10-straight field goals to lead, 55-22. The Huskies outscored MU in the second, 30-15.
“(Before the game), we talked about how important it was to get off to a good start and we really out and shot the ball well from the get go. I thought we were at our best when Cassidy and Mikayla got a couple of steals off of breakaways but this is a great thing from a confidence and mental standpoint,” said Head Coach Lisa Carlsen.
“We’ve talked all year about how much easier the game is when you pass and you could see their confidence grow when the ball goes in the basket and that made us more aggressive on the defensive end,” Carlsen added.
NIU continued to shoot well after the break, going 7-of-14 from the field including a flawless 3-for-3 behind the three-point line with Woods, Voigt (Slinger, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) and Kelly Smith (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) each hitting a trey.
After leading by 33 points with 2:11 left in the second quarter, the Huskies built their lead back up to 31 points with 6:59 left on a layup by Harris (West Allis, Wis./Heritage Christian).
Northern Illinois University would finish the game 9-for-18 behind the three-point line, tying their season-high in treys for the second-consecutive game.
The Huskies added 14 more points in the final quarter after leading 78-50 after the third quarter to finish the game with a season-best 38 field goals, NIU’s highest total since at least the 2005-06 season. The Huskies 92 points was their highest total in regulation since Nov. 11, 2006 versus Illinois State.
Ally Lehman (Nineveh, Ind./Indian Creek) led NIU with eight rebounds and seven assists, rounding out her day with six points in 29 minutes.
NIU will return to action Saturday, Feb. 13 versus Central Michigan in its Cram The Convo day. The Huskies and Chippewas will tip at 1 p.m. Central on ESPN3.