NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

Official Store

    Illini Best 'Cats, 60-46

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Amy Jaeschke led NU with 12 points, 13 boards and three blocks Thursday evening.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Sophomore Amy Jaeschke led NU with 12 points, 13 boards and three blocks Thursday evening.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Feb. 12, 2009

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

    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.