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    'Cats Comeback Falls Just Short in Columbus, 71-62

    Feb. 23, 2014

    Final Stats

    Northwestern Ohio State 71 • Northwestern 62
    Value City Arena • Columbus, Ohio

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    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern cut a 24-point deficit to five in the closing minutes Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena but could not complete the comeback as Ohio State captured the 71-62 victory. The Wildcats outscored the Buckeyes 41-30 in the second half.

    After draining five 3-pointers Thursday at Ohio State Maggie Lyon continued her hot shooting from long distance with four triples and led Northwestern with 21 points. Nia Coffey matched a career high with 18 rebounds and added nine rebounds. Lauren Douglas chipped in 13 points off the bench and Christen Inman was in double figures with 10 points.

    Ohio State shot 75.0 percent from the field before the first media timeout and held the narrow 11-7 advantage on the 'Cats. Five of those points for the Buckeyes were off second-chance points as four of their five rebounds at that point were on the offensive glass and another five points came off of NU turnovers. Following a 9-0 run by the Buckeyes, Lyon drained her second 3-pointer of the game to put the score at 18-10 in favor of the home team.

    The Buckeyes led by as many as 21 in the first and continued take advantage of NU miscues, scoring 18 points off NU turnovers. Lyon continued to provide an offensive spark for the Wildcats and scored five-straight points to put the Wildcats within 16 (37-21) with about three minutes left in the half. At that point, Lyon had 13 of Northwestern's 21 points but NU was without a field goal the rest of the half as OSU took the 41-21 lead into the break.

    Coffey pulled down seven of NU's 16 rebounds in the first half but OSU held the 21-16 advantage on the glass. OSU shot 48.5 percent from the field on the first and Ameryst Alston led all players with 18 points on 7-of-9 from the field. NU was limited to 32.0 percent from the field.

    Both teams struggled to find scoring early in the second half as OSU had just two points and NU converted a free throw before the under 16 media timeout. Coffey continued to collect rebounds and reached double-digit rebounds early in the frame for her ninth game of 10+ rebounds this year.

    Lyon continued to knock down 3-pointers and drained her fourth of the game to cut the deficit to 16 points (50-34) with about 10 minutes remaining. NU limited OSU to just 21.1 percent from the field (4-of-19) with eight minutes left in the first and started to chip away at the lead, using a 9-1 run to pull within 12 (55-43) with 5:51 left and again at 57-45 with 3:29 showing. At that point in the game, the Wildcats were outscoring the Buckeyes 24-16.

    Northwestern continued to hang around and cut the deficit to nine points after Ashley Deary completed a three-point play with 2:07 remaining, putting the score at 61-52 in favor of Ohio State. Douglas was big for Northwestern down the stretch, hitting a 3-pointer to put NU within seven and then drained two FTs to make it a five-point game (64-59) with less than a minute remaining.

    Coffey fouled out with under a minute to play just short of a double-double and Ohio State drained two free throws to go back up seven (66-59). Christen Inman and Douglas added free throws for Northwestern to close the game but Ohio State hung on for the 71-62 victory.

    Alston finished with a game-high 30 points but the Wildcats limited her to just one field goal in the second half as she did most of her damage at the free throw line. Northwestern held the 47-43 advantage on rebounds and 18-15 clip on offensive rebounds to finish with the 19-11 advantage on second chance points. Both teams finished with 28 points in the paint while OSU had a 26-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Northwestern held the 11-0 edge on fast break points.

    The Wildcats have two games on the schedule next week to wrap up the 2013-14 regular season. Northwestern hosts Michigan State for the home finale and Senior Day on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. CT. The regular season then concludes on the road at Wisconsin on Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m.

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