Jan. 3, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Penn State used an uncharacteristically high 56 percent shooting effort and tied a season-high with 21 made free throws to claim an 88-68 victory against Northwestern Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Junior Amy Jaeschke (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) paced the Wildcats with 22 points while fellow classmate Meshia Reed (Country Club Hills, Ill./Stockbridge (Ga.)) added a season-high 13. NU is now 11-4, 2-2 on the season.
"I love Meshia," head coach Joe McKeown said. "She gave us a spark tonight and we need that to be successful this season."
Jaeschke scored seven of NU's first 11 points, but the game was nip and tuck throughout the first 12 minutes as neither team held more than a five-point lead. Senior Tyra Grant nailed a jumper at the 7:02 mark to give the visitors a seven-point cushion, 25-18. Grant's bucket aided an 11-2 Lady Lion run to give them a 31-20 lead with 5:21 left in the half.
A three-pointer by Reed at the buzzer punctuated an 11-4 Wildcat run to end the half and set the score at 39-33. Jaeschke led all scorers with 13 points, while Reed contributed six thanks to two triples. Penn State shot 60 percent from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point land. In total, the first half saw four lead changes and one tie.
Northwestern jumped out to a 9-4 run to start the half, capped off by a well-executed high-low from Jaeschke to Kendall Hackney to pull the 'Cats to within four, 45-41, at the 16:45 mark.
But Penn State slowly constructed a seven-point lead and did not let Northwestern come to within more than six the rest of the way. The Wildcats cut the difference to half a dozen on six occasions, but each time, the Lady Lions held strong as they claimed their 10th win of the season.
Jaeschke's 22-point performance was her eighth-consecutive double-digit effort of the season and her two blocks gave her 200 career rejections.
The Wildcats are next in action Thursday, Jan. 7 when they travel to Minneapolis for a 7 p.m. battle with the Gophers. Four out of NU's next games are on the road.