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    Women's Basketball Team Drops Heartbreaker to Minnesota

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Dana Leonard hit for<br>21 points against Minnesota.
    Dana Leonard hit for
    21 points against Minnesota.

    January 15, 1999

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Sonja Robinson scored six of her team-high 15 points in the final three minutes to lift Minnesota to a 70-68 victory over Northwestern in Big Ten women's basketball action. Northwestern sophomore center Tami Sears (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) tallied her fifth double-double of the season with a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Dana Leonard (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) also had 21 points for the Wildcats.

    Northwestern led 38-32 at halftime behind Leonard's 18 first half points. She hit 4-of-7 shots from behind the three-point line. In the second half, NU got two layups from senior guards Megan Chawansky (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) and Shannon McGarrigle (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) which gave the 'Cats a 10-point cushion (42-32) with 17:32 remaining. The Golden Gophers answered with six straight points to get within two (42-40), but the Wildcats made another strong push which included back-to-back three-point plays by McGarrigle and Sears. Two free throws by Leonard at the 12:56 mark put Northwestern up by nine (51-42).

    McGarrigle swished a three-point bomb from the right wing which gave Northwestern a 62-60 advantage and then Sears added a layup at 4:05 which extended the margin to 64-60. Robinson then scored two layups to tie the game at 64-64 with 2:59 remaining. Cassie Vanderheyden hit a three pointer to put the Gophers ahead, 67-64.

    Chawansky had a chance to win the game for Northwestern. After getting the ball over halfcourt, Northwestern took a 20-second timeout with 14 ticks left on the clock. Chawansky drove the middle of the key and put up a soft shot which rolled around the rim and out.

    Northwestern drops to 7-8, 1-4 in the Big Ten. It will attempt to end its four-game losing skid on Sunday, Jan. 17 when conference-leading Ohio State (12-3, 5-0) comes to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a 4 p.m. tipoff. All tickets to the game are being sold for $1 as part of NU's second annual "Pack the Place." The goal is to set a new women's basketball attendance record.