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    'Cats Suffer First Defeat of the Year at No. 17 California

    Nov. 24, 2013

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    Northwestern No. 17 California 65, Northwestern 51
    Haas Pavilion • Berkeley, Calif. 

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    BERKELEY, Calif. – Northwestern took to the road for the first time this season, facing No. 17 California Sunday afternoon in Berkeley. Playing a squad that made the Final Four a year ago, the Wildcats put up a fight but dropped their first game of the season, 65-51.

    Sophomore Maggie Lyon, who missed last year’s game vs. Cal in Evanston due to an injury, led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points. Freshman forward Nia Coffey grabbed 10 rebounds for her third 10+ rebound game in the young five-game season.

    Both teams struggled offensively early in the game, but Cal managed to open the game with a 9-0 run and also took the 13-2 lead. The Wildcats responded though and took advantage of a Cal scoring drought that lasted more than six minutes, going on a 10-0 run to pull within one point at 13-12. Lyon had two 3-pointers during that run and eight of the Wildcats’ first 13 points.

    Northwestern continued to keep it a close game for the ensuing minutes, staying within at least four points before Cal jumped back out to a nine-point lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Ashley Deary kept the ’Cats in it by draining a 3-pointer with 1:50 left and then drove the length of the court with the clock winding down to sink a layup at the buzzer and cut the NU deficit to seven (32-25) at the break.

    Deary and Lyon led Northwestern with nine points each in the first half, and combined for seven of NU’s 10 field goals. Northwestern continued its solid defense and limited Cal to just 34.3 percent (12-of-35) from the field in the first.

    Foul trouble plagued both teams at the start of the second half. Cal’s starting point guard Brittany Boyd was whistled for her fourth foul on the opening possession, but despite the foul trouble, Cal once again jumped out to a double-digit lead thanks to back-to-back possessions with 3-point plays.

    Lyon continued to score for the Wildcats with a jumper and two free throws, but the Wildcats couldn’t keep Cal off the free throw line. With 12:20 remaining, Lauren Douglas and Deary each had four fouls while Coffey and Alex Cohen both were whistled for three.

    Douglas then fouled out of the game with 9:19 to play and the Wildcats struggled to cut the deficit to less than 14 points the rest of the way as Cal took the game, 65-51.

    After Lyon’s 17-point effort, Deary was the next leading scorer for the Wildcats with her nine points, which all came in the first half. Lyon also contributed eight rebounds. The Wildcats finished with the 4-0 edge on blocks as Coffey and Cohen had two swats each.

    For Cal, Reshanda Gray led the way with 23 points while Afure Jemerigbe had 16.

    Northwestern heads back to Welsh-Ryan Arena for three-straight games, beginning Wednesday night against Lafayette. Tip-off in Evanston is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.

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