MADISON, Wis. -- Northwestern played its first overtime contest of the year Sunday in the 2013-14 regular-season finale and utilized the extra time to take down Wisconsin, 77-73. Four Wildcats finished in double figures with Nia Coffey’s 19 leading the way but Christen Inman was close behind, scoring 18 points, including a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line and she had a team-high nine rebounds.
Lauren Douglas chipped in 15 points, including 12 in the second half while Maggie Lyon added 11 points. Alex Cohen came off the bench Sunday and added eight points along with a team-high three blocks.With the game tied 68-68 after regulation, Northwestern outscored Wisconsin 9-5 in the OT to record its 15th win of the season.
Both teams did not miss much to start with the Wildcats and Badgers each shooting better than 50 percent for the first eight minutes of the game. Northwestern held a narrow 16-13 lead following a 3-pointer by Cohen and held the Badgers scoreless for a number of minutes but the Wildcats could only extend their lead to five (20-15).
Coffey was already at double figures with 7:37 left in the first as she drained a jumper to reach 10 points and give NU the 24-21 lead. Wisconsin went on another scoring drought that lasted longer than three minutes with the Wildcats continuing to maintain a narrow lead. Lyon helped the Wildcats gain a six-point advantage, their largest lead of the game at that point, draining a 3-pointer with less than two minutes remaining in the half to go up 35-29. She tacked on another from long-distance and Inman drained a buzzer-beating jumper, helping Northwestern take the 40-33 lead into the break.
Coffey led all scorers with 12 points in the first while Inman and Lyon added eight points each. The Wildcats shot 46.7 percent from the field while Wisconsin finished at 41.9 percent for the frame. UW’s Dakota Whyte had 10 points off the bench while Taylor Wurtz added nine.
Northwestern extended its lead to as many as 10 (47-37) early in the second but Wisconsin went on a sizeable run to re-gain the lead at 49-48 with 13 minutes remaining. The Badgers extended their lead to five (55-50) but the Wildcats kept the game close as Cohen sunk her second 3-pointer of the game to bring NU within two (57-55) with 9:04 to play.
Wisconsin went ahead again by five but the Wildcats came back to tie things up at 61-61 following a Douglas three-point play with 5:03 left. The game continued to remain close as the Badgers scored four-straight to go up 65-61 but an Inman fastbreak bucket cut UW’s lead back down to two (66-64) with 2:34 remaining. Deary then tied the game at 66-66 and Inman put the Wildcats on top again, 68-66, after draining two free throws following a steal
Two Wisconsin free throws tied things up again at 68-68 and each team had a final chance to end the game in regulation. With 0.2 seconds left, UW had a look on an out of bounds play but Michala Johnson’s shot just fell short, sending the game to overtime.
Coffey scored back-to-back buckets to start overtime and then Inman recorded her second steal of the game, which led to two free throws for her and put the Wildcats up 74-70. Wisconsin pulled within two late in OT (75-73) but Inman was clutch for the Wildcats down the stretch draining two final free throws to give Northwestern the 77-73 overtime victory.
With the win, the Wildcats recorded their first season sweep of Wisconsin since 1994 and wrap up the regular season with a winning record at 15-14.
Northwestern shot 42.1 percent from the field while Wisconsin was under 40 percent at 37.9. The Badgers were just 2-of-20 from the 3-point line. Wurz led Wisconsin with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
With the regular season complete the Wildcats now turn their attention to the postseason, which begins Thursday, March 6 at the 2014 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Northwestern will be the No. 9 seed and face No. 8 seed Ohio State in the tournament opener on Thursday at 11 a.m. CT/noon ET at Bankers Life Field House.
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