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    'Cats Catch Fire in Second Half in 74-58 Win Over Wisconsin

    Jan. 18, 2014

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    Northwestern Northwestern 74, Wisconsin 58
    Welsh-Ryan Arena • Evanston, Ill.

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern utilized a strong second half to overpower Wisconsin 74-58, Saturday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. A balanced scoring attack that featured three NU players leading the way with 17 points helped the Wildcats to their 12th win of the season.

    Freshmen Nia Coffey and Christen Inman, along with sophomore Lauren Douglas, who logged 31 minutes off the bench, each tallied 17 points for the Wildcats. Coffey led NU with eight rebounds while Douglas contributed seven. All three combined to shoot 23-of-36 from the field, including an impressive 8-of-9 for Inman. Freshman point guard Ashley Deary distributed the ball well with nine of NU's 24 assists and the Wildcats had just 10 turnovers while Wisconsin had 23, leading to 27 Northwestern points.

    Wisconsin took the early 18-10 lead, with Michala Johnson (11) and Taylor Wurtz (7) scoring all of the Badgers' points, but Northwestern went on a 10-2 run, capped off by a bucket by Lauren Douglas, to tie things up at 20-20 with 8:03 left in the first. After UW went up two, Douglas helped the Wildcats take their first lead of the game at 23-22 off a 3-pointer.

    Both teams traded leads for the ensuing minutes until Wisconsin gained a three-point cushion off another bucket by Johnson with 1:18 left. Devon Brookshire then hit a big 3-pointer for the Wildcats on their next possession, sending both teams into the locker room with the 31-31 tie.

    Johnson ended the first half with 17 of Wisconsin's 31 first-half points while Douglas led the way for Northwestern with nine. The Wildcats received a boost from their bench with 15 points compared to just four bench points for Wisconsin. NU went 12-of-33 for 36.4 percent in the first half while Wisconsin was 12-of-27 for 44.4 percent. NU took care of the ball in the first half with just four turnovers while Wisconsin had 10, leading to 12 NU points.

    The Wildcats had a strong start to the second half, scoring seven-straight thanks to a bucket by Inman, another by Coffey and 3-pointer by Lyon, giving them their largest lead of the game at 38-31 with 18:15 left. NU continued to maintain its lead but didn't have an answer for UW's Johnson as she upped her point total to 25 with 12 minutes left in the 1st.

    Inman put the Wildcats up 46-39 but Wisconsin utilized a 7-0 run to tie things up again at 46-46 with 11:04 to play. That did not stop the Wildcats, especially Coffey, as she scored nine-straight points and Cohen added another bucket to give Northwestern the 57-46 lead.

    The Wildcats continued to maintain a comfortable lead on the Badgers the rest of the half. Inman and Douglas helped Northwestern pull away with the win, as Inman scored five-straight and Douglas added on another 3-pointer to put NU up 72-56 with 2:06 remaining. Both teams each scored a bucket before time expired as Northwestern captured the 74-58 victory.

    Johnson scored a game-high 32 points for Wisconsin to go along with 10 rebounds. Only one other Badger player, Wurtz, scored more than four points as she had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Wildcats caught fire offensively in the second half, shooting 67.9 percent for the half to finish at 50.8 percent for the game. NU was 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the second half.

    Northwestern hits the road for its next game, taking on No. 19/22 Purdue for the second time this season, this time facing the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind., on Thursday, Jan. 23. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Mackey Arena and that game will air live on the Big Ten Network.

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