Feb. 12, 2009
Box Score |
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Northwestern hung close, but Illinois held strong on its home court, outlasting the 'Cats, 60-46, Thursday evening at Assembly Hall. Junior Kristin Cartwright (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) and sophomore Amy Jaeschke (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) led NU with 12 points each, and Jaeschke notched her eighth double-double of the season, adding a game-high 16 boards and six blocks.
Northwestern's tight defense wreaked havoc on the Illini offensively, forcing the home team to shoot 12.5 percent (1-of-8) through the first five minutes of the game. The contest was a low-scoring affair in the early going, as neither team cracked 15 after 12 minutes of play.
Illinois held a slight lead throughout most of the opening half until a bucket by Cartwright in the corner off an inbounds play pulled Northwestern to within a basket, 16-14, at the 5:22 mark. Play remained tight the rest of the half and Illinois went into the locker room with a 26-20 edge.
Meshia Reed (Country Club Hills, Ill./Stockbridge (Ga.)) and Cartwright led the Wildcats with eight points each at the half.
The Wildcats found themselves down 10--35-25--just under four minutes into the second stanza. A trey from the top of the key by Maggie Mocchi (Wheeling, Ill./Buffalo Grove) pulled NU to within seven, but Illinois answered with a basket of its own. That pattern continued until the Northwestern went on a 5-0 run to pull the game to within six, 46-40, with 7:20 left.
The difference remained six for about two minutes until Brittany Orban (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) was fouled with 5:10 on the clock. The freshman sunk both free throws to make it 48-44.
But Illinois continued to convert on the offensive end and kept Northwestern at arms-length to hang on for their fourth victory in the last five games.
The Wildcats are next in action on Sunday when they visit Columbus for a 10 a.m. CT showdown against the Buckeyes that will be carried live on the Big Ten Network.