Nov. 13, 2009
Northwestern 73, Toledo 64 -- Final Box (PDF)
TOLEDO, Ohio-- Junior Amy Jaeschke (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) scored a game-high 27 points while Ohio natives Brittany Orban (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and Kendall Hackney (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) added 13 apiece as Northwestern emerged victorious, 73-64, in its first contest of the 2009-10 campaign. Orban and Jaeschke led NU on the boards with eight each. Northwestern is now 26-9 all-time in season-openers.
Toledo came out strong, shooting 50 percent from the field through the first four minutes en route to taking a slight 7-6 advantage. Jaeschke provided back-to-back buckets to settle the 'Cats offensively and give NU confidence for a 7-0 run, propelling Northwestern to a 15-7 lead with 12 minutes left.
Toledo battled back to pull to within four, 15-11, but a trey from Hackney and a layup from Beth Marshall (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) pushed NU's lead back to nine at the 10:23 mark. The Wildcats' defense remained strong, inducing a five-minute Rocket scoring drought while running off six points of their own to claim their largest lead of the game--a 28-13 advantage.
The Rockets managed to get the difference to single digits with 22 ticks left in the first half, but a Jaeschke layup as time ran down set the score at 34-23 at intermission.
Jaeschke led all scorers with 12 points at the half thanks to a 6-of-8 effort from the field. Hackney converted on 75 percent of her looks for seven points while adding two steals.
Both teams came out of the gates firing, scoring nine points collectively in the first two minutes. Still, the Wildcats remained clearly in control, extending their lead to as much as 21. But, Toledo hung around and proved why they were picked to finish first in the MAC West, going on a 15-4 run to cut the Wildcat lead to six with under three minutes remaining.
Orban nailed two free throws to give NU a 65-57 lead, and a Rocket miss on the next possession resulted in a Hackney rebound and two free throws at the other end. The freshman calmly sunk both to put the NU lead back to double-digits.
The Rockets pulled back to within eight with under 1:30 left but that was the closest they would get as NU held on for its first victory of the season. Northwestern converted from the line when it counted, going a perfect 8-of-8 from the line in the final three minutes.
Northwestern registered 23 points off 18 Toledo turnovers and converted on 43 percent of its looks from the field. Individually, Jaeschke was 11-of-18 from the field with three assists, four blocks and four steals. Hackney went 5-of-9 and pulled down a solid five boards while grabbing two steals.
The Wildcats are next in action on Friday, Nov. 20 for their the home opener against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Tip is slated for 8:30 p.m.