Nov. 9, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 79, Tennessee-Martin 69
Records: NU (1-0), UT-Martin (0-1)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Nov. 11 – vs. Central Michigan (Evanston, Ill.) 3 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern lifted the lid on the 2012-13 campaign Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena and recorded the 79-69 win over Tennessee-Martin. Three Wildcats finished in double figures as freshman forward Maggie Lyon lead the way with 21 points in her debut, and senior forward Kendall Hackney recorded 20. Senior forward/center Dannielle Diamant added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore guard Karly Roser nearly recorded a triple-double with her stat line of 11 assists, nine points and seven rebounds, to help pave the way to victory.
It was a game of scoring runs as Diamant got off to a hot start, scoring the first five points of the game for the Wildcats. NU used pressure defense and a fast-paced scoring attack to open up a 12-point lead halfway through the first half. The Skyhawks brought the game back within seven at the eight-minute mark, before a 7-0 run by the 'Cats gave them a 32-18 lead, their largest of the half.
UT-Martin used a 10-0 run to bring the lead back down to four, but Northwestern scored the last five points of the half to take a 37-28 lead into the locker room.
The Skyhawks came out firing in the second half, outscoring NU 23-11 on their way to a 51-48 lead. Roser pulled through with a key three-point play to tie the game back up at 51 with just under 11 minutes to go.
The second half stayed tight with the teams swapping leads throughout. A Lyon lay-up put Northwestern in front 56-54 and the 'Cats didn’t look back, as they stayed in front for the remainder of the contest.
The lead would stay within four until the 4:46 mark, when Hackney extended the Wildcat lead to 66-61. Strong defensive play kept the Skyhawks off the board for the next three minutes as NU opened up a 72-61 margin. Northwestern made its free throws down the stretch to give the ’Cats the 79-69 final advantage.
Northwestern was able to fend off the Skyhawks despite allowing a combined 50 points to UT-Martin’s two most prolific scorers, Heather Butler (26) and Jasmine Newsome (24).
Roser secured her fourth career game with double-digit assists, dishing out 11, two off her career-high of 13, to go along with her nine points and seven rebounds. She did all of this while turning the ball over just once in 34 minutes.
The Wildcats shot 42.9 percent from the field while UT-Martin finished at 40.6 percent. The two teams combined for 17 3-pointers in the game, nine for the Skyhawks and eight for the Wildcats. Diamant had four from long-range for NU.
Northwestern finished with the 50-41 advantage on rebounds and 14-8 edge on second-chance points. UTM had the slight 34-32 edge on points in the paint.
Five freshmen made their debut for the Wildcats tonight, including Lyon and forward Lauren Douglas, who both started. Devon Brookshire, Christen Johnson and Nof Kedem all saw playing time in the season-opener.
The Wildcats continue their season-opening weekend at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday, hosting Central Michigan. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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