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    Lyon's Late Free Throws Sink the Leopards, 66-64

    Nov. 27, 2013

    Box Score

    Northwestern Northwestern 66, Lafayette 64
    Welsh-Ryan Arena • Evanston, Ill. 

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    EVANSTON, Ill. Maggie Lyon drained two free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining to break a 64-64 tie and give the Wildcats the 66-64 victory over Lafayette Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. After the Leopards scored a layup to tie the game with seven seconds left, Northwestern missed a shot on the other end but Lyon grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled, giving her the chance to win the game for the Wildcats. Lafayette had one last opportunity to tie things up again but Lauren Douglas stole the in-bounds pass to give Northwestern its fifth victory of the year.

    Lyon finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, along with an assist, block and two steals. Freshman forward Nia Coffey led all scorers with 27 points, which ties a career-high, and 11 rebounds for her third double-double. She also contributed four assists, four blocks and four steals. Douglas chipped in eight points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and four steals, the most vital one coming on the final play of the game.

    Northwestern jumped out to a big lead thanks to two 3-pointers by Lyon and the Wildcats forcing seven Lafayette turnovers. NU had the 20-4 lead and limited the Leopards to less than 16 percent shooting early in the first frame. Coffey also got things going early, scoring eight while grabbing three rebounds.

    After Devon Brookshire’s bucket at 9:20 put the Wildcats ahead 22-6, Northwestern went on a scoring drought and Lafayette took advantage with a 15-0 run to pull within one (22-21) with 4:17 left in the frame. Northwestern did not relinquish the lead though and went on a 10-0 run to again go up by double-digits and eventually took the 32-25 lead into halftime.

    Coffey had a productive first half scoring 13 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Lyon had seven points and a team-high six rebounds. The Wildcats limited Lafayette to just 29.4 percent from the field (10-of-34) while the Leopards turned the ball over 12 times, leading to 11 points for Northwestern.

    Lafayette cut the deficit to four points (41-37) early in the second after Jamie O’Hare drained her third 3-pointer of the game. Coffey then helped the Wildcats gain more separation, scoring five-straight to put NU ahead 46-37 and eclipse the 20-point mark for the second time in her career.

    The Leopards hung around and utilized a three-point play by Emily Hoffman to cut the deficit to seven at 58-51 and found themselves within five (60-55) after O’Hare drained her fifth 3-pointer of the game.

    O’Hare then put Lafayette within five points again (64-59) with 47 seconds left and forced a turnover on the other end which led to O’Hare’s sixth 3-pointer, putting the score at 64-62. Another Wildcat turnover gave Lafayette the chance to take the lead but O’Hare missed a 3-pointer yet the Leopards grabbed the offensive rebound and Coffey fouled Madeline Fahan. With the bonus not in effect, the Leopards were unable to shoot free throws but O’Hare added another bucket to tie things up at 64-64. That capped a streak of seven-straight points for O’Hare.

    With the clock winding down, the Wildcats stormed down the court with Coffey on the fast break. Lyon grabbed the offensive rebound after Coffey's missed bucket and she was fouled, sending her to the line to secure the Wildcat victory.

    O’Hare, who came off the bench, finished with 22 points on 8-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-12 from long distance. Lafayette had the 50-34 advantage on rebounds, including 22 offensive rebounds which led to 16 second-chance points.

    Northwestern is back at home on Sunday, Dec. 1, when crosstown rival DePaul comes to town for the fifth annual Autism Awareness Game. The Blue Demons enter Sunday’s game ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Polls. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.


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