Nov. 15, 2011
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Post-Game Press Conference
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 71, Western Kentucky 57,
Records: Northwestern (2-0), Western Kentucky (0-2)
Next Game: Thursday, Nov. 17 vs. Illinois State, 7 p.m., Welsh-Ryan Arena
EVANSTON, Ill. --Northwestern used a 53 percent second-half shooting effort and a balanced scoring attack to topple Western Kentucky, 71-57, Tuesday evening at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Four Wildcats turned in double-digit performances, led by junior Kendall Hackney with 17 points. Freshman Karly Roser nearly recorded a triple double with 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. With the victory, the Wildcats remain unbeaten, improving to 2-0 on the season.
Also shining for the 'Cats was Dannielle Diamant who stepped up big in the post, turning in a 15-point, nine rebound effort, while Brittany Orban turned in a steady evening with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
"I've known Western Kentucky and their coach since she was a player there, and it's a great program with a legendary class - Mary (Taylor Cowles) has done a terrific job," head coach Joe McKeown said. "I'm really proud of the way we played and although I didn't like the way we did certain things, to be at home and control most of the second half gives us something to build on. It's easier to teach from ahead than from behind."
NU indeed jumped ahead from the tip, as Hackney drained a 15-footer to spark a 14-4 Wildcat run in the first four minutes. The Wildcats extended their lead to 18-7, thanks to a triple from Hackney and a free throw by Orban, but Western Kentucky composed a 9-2 run to make it a four-point affair, 20-16, with 7:30 remaining in the half.
Four minutes later, five furious points by Morgan Jones gave Northwestern a -30-20 edge with just under three minutes remaining. The Hilltoppers rattled off five points to slash the lead to five with a minute remaining, but consecutive layups by Hackney, Roser and Orban gave Northwestern its largest lead of the game and set the halftime score at 36-25.
Hackney led all scorers with 13 points, including a trio of triples, while Orban added nine. Roser turned in a solid line with six rebounds, four points and five assists in 16 minutes of work.
Western Kentucky cut the lead to single-digits six minutes into the second stanza, but Northwestern proved resilient, stringing together 10 unanswered points to once again gain the upper hand. In fact, Northwestern scored and 15 of the game's next 19 points, punctuated by a three pointer from senior captain Allison Mocchi to extend its lead to 20, 57-37, midway through the second half.
Northwestern remained steady throughout the next 10 minutes, never allowing Western Kentucky to cut the lead to less than 12 points. The Wildcats turned in an outstanding defensive effort, forcing 21 Western Kentucky turnovers and turning them into 21 points.
Northwestern returns to action at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, when Illinois State visits Welsh-Ryan Arena.
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