Senior Cassidy Glenn's layup with 34 seconds to play capped the largest comeback in NIU women's basketball history, giving the Huskies a 72-71 victory over Ohio in the quarterfinals of the 2017 MAC Women's Basketball Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Glenn's layup gave NIU its first and only lead of the game, but it was enough to propel the Huskies to their first 20-win season since 1993-94, their first win in Cleveland at the MAC Tournament since 2012 and their first trip to the semifinals since 2007.
With 4:33 to play in the second quarter, the No. 4 seed Huskies trailed fifth-seeded Ohio by 22 points, 36-14, and NIU was down by 17, 41-24 at halftime thanks to a last-second layup by Renee Sladek. The 22-point comeback represented the largest deficit overcome by a NIU women's basketball team.
Senior point guard Ally Lehman hit all seven of her second-half shots to finish the game with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
After scoring 10 points in the first quarter and shooting 27 percent from the floor with just one three point field goal in nine tries in the first half, NIU made 70 percent of its field goals (19-of-27) in the second half, including 10-of-12 in the third quarter and 9-of-15 in the final period.
Mikayla Voigt led the Huskies with 19 points, with all but two coming in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter. Sladek provided most of the NIU offense in the first half with 10 of her 12 points keeping NIU in what turned out to be striking distance, and Courtney Woods added 12 points as well. Kelly Smith's team-leading nine rebounds helped the Huskies win the battle of the boards. Glenn added eight rebounds, six in the second half.
NIU takes on No. 8 seed Western Michigan Friday at 10 a.m. in the semifinals after the Broncos upset No. 1 seed Central Michigan, 67-63, in Wednesday's first game.