Western Michigan Box Score
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --
Junior Ellen Jaeschke (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove/Air Force) exploded for a 19-point, 13-rebound performance and sophomore Kaitlin McInerney (Oak Brook, Ill./Benet) also recorded a double-double Saturday night but it was not enough as Western Michigan edged the Wildcats, 64-61, in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.
For the second-consecutive night, the game came down to the wire. A three-pointer by the Broncos' Brenna Bankston with 2:20 remaining notched the game at 59 each. Western Michigan added back-to-back buckets to take a four-point lead with 12 seconds left. But Jaeschke answered with a layup to cut the difference to two with five seconds remaining. The Wildcats were forced to foul and the Broncos made one free throw to extend the lead to three with four seconds remaining. A half-court heave by Nadia Bibbs(Chicago, Ill./Hillcrest/Boston University) was off mark, giving Western Michigan the win.
Northwestern controlled the game throughout the first half, leading by as much as seven before heading into the break with a six-point advantage.
The Wildcats dominated in the paint, outscoring the Broncos 24-6 in the first half. McInerney led the way with eight points while Jaeschke tallied six. Jaeschke recorded five blocks in the opening frame and led the team with seven boards.
NU extended the difference to double-digits with 17:14 left in the contest, but the Broncos continued to chop away at the lead, eventually claiming the upper hand halfway through the second half. This was largely because Western went to the free throw line 22 times in the second stanza, compared to eight chances for NU. Overall, Western Michigan saw 36 free chances compared to the Wildcats' 12.
The Wildcats scored 44 of their 61 points in the paint, relying heavily on the play of McInerney and Ellen Jaeschke, who shouldered the majority of the scoring due to the loss of freshman Amy Jaeschke (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier), who broke her hand in yesterday's game against Dayton. McInerney finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Senior Nadia Bibbs turned in a strong performance, playing 32 minutes and producing a season-high 13 points on 5-of-10 from the field as well as snatching a team-high five steals.
Northwestern is now 1-1 on the season and will face tournament host New Mexico at 3 p.m. CT Sunday.