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    NU Falls in Big Ten Home Opener

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore forward Alex Cohen chipped in eight points off the bench against Illinois.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Sophomore forward Alex Cohen chipped in eight points off the bench against Illinois.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Jan. 10, 2013

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

    NU vs. Illinois Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

    Watch: Illinois Game Highlights

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: Illinois – 65, Northwestern – 47
    Records: NU (8-8 overall, 0-3 Big Ten), Illinois (9-6 overall, 2-1 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m. – vs. Michigan (rv/rv) – Welsh-Ryan Arena
     
    EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern held Illinois to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field but was unable to overcome turnovers as the Illini took the 65-47 victory in the Wildcats' Big Ten home opener at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
     
    NU senior forward Kendall Hackney led the team with 14 points before fouling out with a little less than 10 minutes to play. Freshman forward Maggie Lyon added nine points while freshman forward Lauren Douglas and sophomore forward Alex Cohen each contributed eight points. Senior forward/center Dannielle Diamant had a career-high five steals and tied her career-best with five assists. Diamant also kept Illinois’ leading scorer, Karisma Penn, under her season averages as she finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
     
    It was a struggle for both teams early in the game as the Wildcats and Illini combined for 10 turnovers before the first media timeout. Neither team had many open looks at the basket and the score stayed stagnant at 10-10 for just over two minutes until Penn broke the tie, scoring two free throws with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
     
    After a Hackney layup evened things up at 10-10 with 12:15 left in the frame, Northwestern was without a field goal for over six minutes, not scoring again until another Hackney bucket at the 5:47 mark. Illinois took advantage, jumping out to a seven-point lead.

    Illinois Game Highlights


    NU managed to cut the deficit to four points as Illinois took the 23-19 edge into halftime. Both teams ended the first half with a combined 30 turnovers but neither team was able to score many points off the miscues as Illinois had seven points off turnovers compared to just four points for NU.
     
    The miscues for both teams continued in the second half with another 11 turnovers by the first media timeout. The Illini maintained their lead but by no more than a few points and NU came within three (26-23) after a bucket by Douglas with 17:12 to play.
     
    A 14-2 Illini run over the next few minutes gave them their largest lead of the game at that point of 15 points (40-25) at the 13:07 mark. Foul trouble again plagued the Wildcats as Hackney, the team’s leading scorer in the game and on the season, fouled out with a little less than 10 minutes left.
     
    NU managed to cut the lead to 11 (51-40) with 6:02 remaining but could not get over the hump as Illinois maintained its lead.
     
    The Wildcats have a week off of competition to prepare for their next Big Ten contest, which takes place at home against Michigan on Thursday, Jan. 17. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

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