The Northern Illinois women’s basketball team posted a 93-64 victory over Eastern Illinois in its season opener at Lantz Arena on Friday night.
Four Huskies (1-0) finished in double figures with Kelly Smith leading the way. The NIU senior, who opened the game going 6 for 6 from the floor, finished the night with a career-high 26 points.
Smith went 11 for 15 from the field, dished out four assists and blocked two shots.
“I think she played like you’d expect a senior to play,” Carlsen said of Smith. “She did a lot of things well. Really battled in the bottom half of the lane. She was efficient as far as scoring the basketball, did a nice job on the glass and stayed out of foul trouble. That’s huge for Kelly. Anytime we can keep her on the floor for extended minutes, we’re going to be a lot better basketball team. That’s a great way for her to start off her senior year.”
Mikayla Voigt and Janae Poisson each contributed 14 points, while Courtney Woods finished the game with 13. Twelve of Voigt’s total came from behind the 3-point line as the Huskie junior was 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Poisson led a Huskie bench that outscored the Panthers’ reserves, 33-15.
NIU’s offense was clicking, hitting 53.8 percent from the floor, including 42.9 from three-point territory.
The Huskies’ defense was solid, holding the Panthers to 34.3 percent shooting from the field. NIU also outrebounded the Panthers, 49-33, including 37 defensive rebounds and blocking six shots.
Ally May finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.