Feb. 16, 2012
WATCH: Game Highlights | Postgame News Conference
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Devaney Center)
Score: Northwestern 63, No. 16 Nebraska 51
Records: NU (14-12, 4-9 Big Ten), Nebraska (19-6, 8-5 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Monday, Feb. 20 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 6:30 p.m. CT
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Northwestern came into Nebraska's Devaney Center Thursday on a three-game skid, having never won in Lincoln and facing the No. 16 team in the nation. The Wildcats (14-12, 4-9) proved up to the tall task, turning in one of their best performances of the season in a 63-51 toppling of the Cornhuskers.
Though it was an all-around outstanding team effort, Dannielle Diamant proved exceptional, posting a 19-point, eight-rebound effort. Classmate Kendall Hackney added 17 points, hitting on 3-of-5 attempts from long range and grabbing five rebounds.
Northwestern handed Nebraska just its third loss of the year at home (11-3).
"It was just a hard-fought game tonight," head coach Joe McKeown said after the game. "It was a great crowd and a great atmosphere to play in. I thought our defense was really good and we always tried to contest [Lindsey] Moore and [Jordan] Hooper. From the standpoint of playing a full 40-minute game, I thought we did a good job."
Looking to get off to a fast start, Northwestern drained four triples through the opening seven minutes -- all coming from different Wildcats -- to seize an 18-12 lead. In total, NU shot 58 percent from the field and 57 percent from long range through those first eight minutes.
Bolstered by a crowd of 6,248, Nebraska responded with a 9-0 run, guided by five points from Hailie Sample, to claim a 21-18 upper hand with seven minutes remaining in the half. NU then hunkered down on the defensive end, forcing three consecutive empty Nebraska possessions while going on a 6-0 run to regain the lead.
The game of runs continued as both teams tacked on six more points, respectively, setting the score at 27-24 in favor of Northwestern with four minutes left before the break. A lone bucket by Diamant was the only score for the 'Cats over the next four minutes, resulting in a deadlocked 29-29 tally at intermission.
After halftime, the scoring came just as fast and as furiously as it did in the opening minutes, with neither team letting the other out of its sight. Nebraska built its largest lead of the game -- a 38-33 advantage -- three minutes into the second stanza, but Northwestern stormed back with a pair of three-pointers from Morgan Jones and Allison Mocchi and a free-throw from Tailor Jones to knot the game at 40.
The Wildcats used points from Inesha Hale, and Diamant over the next six minutes to build a four-point lead, 49-45, at the 9:18 mark -- a lead NU would not surrender.
Northwestern performed exceptionally on the defensive end out of the locker rooms, limiting Nebraska to just 20 percent from beyond the arc and 40 percent from the field through the opening 10 minutes. The Wildcats built a 56-48 advantage with 3:36 to play and sealed the upset with free throws the rest of the way, also coming up with key defensive rebounds en route to the upset.
Northwestern is next in action on Monday, Feb. 20, when it travels to Champaign for a 6:30 p.m. contest against Illinois. The game will be carried live on the Big Ten Network.
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