Nov. 10, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern started its 2013-14 season off with a 79-63 win against the UIC Flames Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Six Wildcats scored in double-digits with freshman Nia Coffey scoring a team-high of 19 points, to go along with five blocks, four rebounds and three steals. Sophomore guard Maggie Lyon posted 14 points, six assists and five rebounds while freshman Christen Inman added another 12 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line, three rebounds and two steals.
Head coach Joe McKeown utilized a starting lineup that featured three freshmen with Coffey, Inman and guard Ashley Deary on the floor to start the game. Deary had a solid showing in her first game running the floor for the Wildcats with 11 points, six assists, four rebounds and a game-high four steals. Junior Alex Cohen also started for the Wildcats and chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds while sophomore forward Lauren Douglas contributed 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.
It was a back and forth first half for the 'Cats, with the Flames right on their heels in scoring. A steal and a three-point play by Coffey to start the game set the tone for a hard-fought first half and gave Northwestern its first points of the year.
UIC snuck past Northwestern with a bucket by forward Katie Hannemann to take the narrow one-point lead at the 16:00 minute mark, but the 'Cats responded with a 3-pointer of their own. Despite tying the game up, the Flames were unable to regain their lead the rest of the way.
Northwestern was heavy on defense forcing the visiting team into two shot clock violations in the first half. A layup by sophomore Devon Brookshire took the Wildcats into halftime with a 40-34 lead. Lyon and Coffey led the team in scoring each adding 11 points to the board.
A 9-0 run by Northwestern at the offset of the second half opened the Wildcats up to a 13-point lead. Both teams ran into foul trouble with Northwestern's Douglas and Cohen fouling out of the game during the second half but the Wildcat bench stepped up to keep UIC from coming back and took the 79-63 victory.
The trio of starting freshmen, Coffey, Inman and Deary, all proved to be influential in their Northwestern debut as they combined for 42 of Northwestern's 79 points.
Northwestern shot 42.9 percent from the field while limiting UIC to 34.4 percent for the game. UIC won the rebounding battle 47-40. The Wildcats had the 9-4 advantage on blocks with Coffey contributing five and 13-7 clip on steals as Coffey, Inman and Deary combined for nine of those takeaways.
The Wildcats are back in action Wednesday, Nov., 13 at 6:30 p.m. when they host the Chicago State Cougars at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!