Feb. 11, 2007
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern used a combination of scrappy defense, timely shooting and a 47 percent effort from beyond the arc to capture its first Big Ten victory, a 64-61 win against Penn State on Sunday. With the victory, Northwestern surpassed its win total from last season. Three Wildcats registered in double figures, including Beth Marshall (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) who recorded a career-best 14 points.
"This is unbelievable," head coach Beth Combs said. "I am so proud of my team. I hope we can take this momentum with us and carry it with us down the stretch."
Both teams sprinted out to a quick start to open the game, knocking down buckets on each of its first three possessions. The accelerated, neck-and-neck pace in the early going was just a preview of what was to come the rest of the game, as there were 23 total lead changes. Through the first eight minutes, NU and Penn State were shooting at least 50 percent.
The competitive play continued, with Northwestern holding the largest lead of the half--five points--courtesy of a 3-pointer by Marshall with 7:11 left.
The score was dead-locked, 28-28, at the break, with Glasauer leading NU with seven points.
No team held more than a four-point lead throughout the second stanza, as both squads refused to let the game slip away.
A 3-pointer by Marshall with 3:25 left gave NU a 58-54 advantage and prompted PSU to call a timeout to break the 'Cats momentum and the crowd's enthusiasm. As was the case the entire game, Penn State answered with a basket, but the Wildcats came up with a bucket of their own to push lead back to four.
The Lady Lions cut the gap to one point with :03 seconds left, but Marshall was fouled and knocked down both free throws to give NU a 3-point advantage. A last second half-court heave was off the mark and NU came away with the win.
Northwestern shot 44 percent from the field to accompany its 47 percent effort from downtown. The Wildcats also forced 19 Lady Lion turnovers, which they converted into 17 points.
Kristin Cartwright (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) continued her outstanding play, joining Marshall in double figures with 13 points. A.J. Glasauer (Freiburg, Germany/Theodor-Heuss Gymnasium) scored 11 points while also dishing out a game-high six assists.
Marshall was 3-of-6 from both beyond the arc and from the field. She was also clutch down the stretch, shooting 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats are next in action on Thursday when they travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State in a 6 p.m. CST game.