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    Strong Second Half Not Enough As 'Cats Fall To No. 18 PSU, 77-63

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kendall Hackney pulled down the 500th rebound of her career Sunday afternoon.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kendall Hackney pulled down the 500th rebound of her career Sunday afternoon.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Feb. 12, 2012

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    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: No. 18 Penn State 77, Northwestern 63
    Records: NU (13-12, 3-9 Big Ten), Penn State (20-5, 10-3 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Thursday, Feb. 16 -- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.) 7 p.m. CT

    EVANSTON, Ill.-- Northwestern outscored No. 18 Penn State in the second half, but could not trump the Lady Lions, falling 77-63 Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Morgan Jones and Kendall Hackney led the Wildcats (13-12, 3-9) with a game-high 20 points and 15 points, respectively. The duo each contributed seven rebounds and combined to dish out eight assists and record five steals.

    "They're a great team and with Danielle [Diamant] not being able to play it really limits us on offense with what we can do," head coach Joe McKeown said after the game. "I though we battled hard, and competed but they're tough to shut down because they can get you in so many ways. They're really hard to contend with because they're so talented."

    NU played without center Dannielle Diamant who suffered a concussion right before halftime of the Wildcats' Thursday game at Michigan State. Starters Allison Mocchi and Karly Roser also played limited minutes due to injury.

    Penn State showed that talent early, putting Northwestern on its heels, 17-5, just five minutes in to the affair, thanks to a 60 percent shooting effort. The Wildcats responded with a 6-0 run to claw to within six at the 12:13 mark, bringing the crowd of nearly 1,900--many clad with pink in honor of the Play4Kay day--to their feet.

    The Lady Lions answered with 10 unanswered points, with production coming from four different players, to build a 16-point advantage--27-11--at the 9:43 mark. Northwestern used two more surges over the next four minutes to slash it to 10, but PSU was relentless, answering any Wildcat spurt with a bucket of its own. The Lady Lions took a 41-25 lead into intermission.

    Alex Cohen and Hackney led NU at the break with six points, while Morgan Jones added five.

    Penn State continued to find the basket, maintaining a healthy double digit lead until the 14-minute mark when a lay-in by Morgan Jones pulled the Wildcats to within 11. The scoring began to see-saw, and NU got within 12 on numerous occasions, but the Lady Lions would not open the door to allow Northwestern back in, earning their 20th win of the season.

    Northwestern received a solid effort from its bench, which accounted for 16 points. Freshman Alex Cohen turned in an eight-point, five rebound performance in just 14 minutes of action.

    Hackney reached yet another milestone, hauling down the 500th rebound of her career. On Jan. 26, she became the 14th Wildcat to score 1,000 career points.

    Northwestern is next in action on Thursday, February 16, when it heads to Lincoln to take on Nebraska. Tip is set for 7p.m.

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