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    Wildcats Drop Home Opener to #22 UC-Santa Barbara, 101-87

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Kristina Divjak poured in 27<br> points in a loss to 22nd-ranked<br> UC-Santa Barbara.
    Kristina Divjak poured in 27
    points in a loss to 22nd-ranked
    UC-Santa Barbara.

    November 19, 1998

    EVANSTON, Ill. - All-American candidate Kristina Divjak (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) poured in 27 points (9-16 FG, 3-7 3-pt. FG), but it was not enough as the Wildcats dropped their home opener to 22nd-ranked UC-Santa Barbara, 101-87.

    The inside-outside duo of Divjak and Tami Sears (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) carried the Wildcats in the first half, combining for 25 of the teams 40 points. Divjak led the way with 13. The Gauchos came out firing, connecting on seven consecutive shots to grab the early lead. The Wildcats (0-2) trimmed the Gaucho lead to four, at 40-36, before settling for a 51-40 deficit at intermission. UCSB shot 58 percent in the first half.

    The Gauchos (1-0) stormed out of the locker room in the second half, scoring the first 12 points of the half as part of a 23-4 run that bridged both halves, to take a 63-40 lead. The Wildcats did not give up, answering with a 19-6 spurt led by Divjak and sophomore point guard Dana Leonard (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), who scored all 14 of her points in the second half, to close within ten, 69-59 with 12:12 remaining, but UCSB pulled away.

    Sears finished with a career-high 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Wildcats. Kristi Rohr led the Gauchos, who had seven players in double figures, with 20 points.

    Northwestern plays at cross-town rival DePaul on Friday at 7 p.m.