Feb. 10, 2013
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Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Ohio State- 59, Northwestern - 52
Records: NU (11-13, 3-8 Big Ten), Ohio State (14-10 overall, 4-7 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Feb. 17 - at Minnesota - 2 p.m. - Minneapolis, Minn. (Williams Arena)
EVANSTON, Ill. --- It was another close game for Northwestern Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena but the 'Cats were unable to overcome the Buckeyes, 59-52. Northwestern once again played solid defense, limiting the Buckeyes to just 34.4 percent from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range, but OSU's Tayler Hill, the second leading scorer in the Big Ten, was the difference with her game-high 26 points.
“Last Sunday, we hit a shot with 00.1 seconds left to beat Iowa, so we’ve been preaching 40 minutes," Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown said. "We fought back today. We got it down to four. We turned them over a little bit in our press, but they made a couple plays. It’s hard to turn them over because they control the ball really well and they have three or four people on the floor that can handle it. We have to play 40 minutes.”
NU freshman forward Maggie Lyon led the team in scoring with 14 points, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, and four rebounds. Freshman forward Lauren Douglas had five blocks, just one shy from her career high. Senior forward/center Dannielle Diamant chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds while sophomore guard Karly Roser posted 11 points and five assists. Sophomore forward Alex Cohen contributed eight rebounds off the bench.
Northwestern went on a 6-2 run right out of the gate with Lyon, Roser and Diamant each putting two on the board. The Buckeyes struggled against the NU defense, shooting just 2-of-9 from the field six minutes into the first.
Hill put the Buckeyes back into the game with a layup and a steal that put them ahead, but Douglas drained a 3-pointer off a blocked shot to bring the game to a tie, beginning a back and forth rally between the teams. At the 10:58 mark, Lyon put the `Cats ahead by two with an assist from Cohen before tying with Ohio State again. With 6:22 on the clock, a pair of free throws gave the Buckeyes the momentum they needed to go on a 10-2 run before the end of the first, bringing them into halftime with the 33-26 lead.
Junior guard La'Terria Taylor made her first career appearance at the end of the first and. Cohen grabbed an impressive four rebounds in just five minutes of action.
Coming into the second, Ohio State quickly widened their lead to 10. The remainder of the second half saw the 'Cats fighting to chip away at Ohio State's lead, but Hill kept finding the basket. With 2:43 left in the game, Douglas executed a layup that brought the 'Cats within four (53-49), the closest of the second half. Hill posted six points for the Buckeyes down the stretch, four of them from the free throw line, that pulled the game out of NU's grasp despite a bucket from Diamant with 26 seconds left.
Sunday's game was the team's annual Pink Zone game as the 'Cats sported uniforms with pink trim and wore pink Under Armour shoes. NU also played in front of its second-largest home crowd of the season.
“Unbelievable atmosphere today," McKeown said. "It was a a great crowd, loud. I just want to reach out to the people at Northwestern and I also want to thank Under Armour and everyone that was involved. I wish the outcome would have been better but what a great atmosphere to play in today. Hopefully we can recreate that.”
Northwestern has a week off of competition before heading back out onto the road to take on Minnesota next Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.
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