December 4, 1998
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northwestern Wildcats pulled away from Ohio with a 17-2 run late in the first half that extended a 29-20 lead into a 46-22 advantage with 2:28 left to play in the first stanza. The 'Cats, hosting the 15th annual Roger L. White Invitational, cruised to a 94-59 victory over the Bobcats in the tournament's second game of the night. It marked the most points Northwestern (4-2) has put on the board this season and the most since a 97-point output against Northern Illinois on Feb. 18, 1997.
Senior guard Megan Chawansky (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) had 13 of her 18 points during the first 20 minutes. Ohio guard Danielle Longnecker finished with a team-high 13 points. Her team, as a whole shot 38.1 percent (24-of-63) and turned the ball over 21 times. Northwestern made 31 of 65 shots from the field and out-rebounded the Bobcats, 52-36. It was the fourth straight game where Northwestern has had the edge on the boards, and all four games have resulted in wins.
Northwestern guard Dana Leonard (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) continued her hot shooting. This time, she tied Chawansky for a game-high 18 points. Leonard made three 3-pointers and went 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
Junior forward Leslie Schock (Elgin, Ill./Elgin) chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds. Junior center Leah Berki (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale Central) pulled down a career-high nine rebounds. Another strong performance came from sophomore forward Clarissa Flores (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), starting in her second-straight game for the injured Kristina Divjak. Flores was 6-of-10 from the floor with one three-pointer. She posted a career-high five assists and five steals to go along with 13 points.
Northwestern will put its four-game winning streak to the test tomorrow night in the championship game against Western Kentucky (7-1). The Lady Toppers were 78-57 victors over the University of Maine (2-3) in the tournament's first game. Forward Shea Lunsford led the attack for Western Kentucky with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The championship game between the Lady Toppers and Wildcats will get started approximately 25 minutes following the consolation game. Tip-off between Ohio (0-3) and Maine is set for 5:05 p.m.
Last season, Western Kentucky defeated Northwestern twice. The Lady Toppers slipped by with an 88-83 victory in the 1997 Preseason NIT. Four days later, the Wildcats traveled to Bowling Green, Ky., and fell again, 82-58.