Dec. 14, 2011
Box Score |
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 87, Morgan State 74
Records: NU (8-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Morgan State (2-4, 0-0 MEAC)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Dec. 20 -- at UNLV (Las Vegas, Nev./BTI Invitational Tournament), 7 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Junior Kendall Hackney poured in a career-high 29 points and Northwestern shot a season-best 51 percent to top Morgan State, 87-74, Wednesday afternoon in front of a raucous crowd of 4,251. The victory, which came on Northwestern's annual Field Trip Day, was the Wildcats' eighth of the season.
Morgan Jones joined Hackney in double figures with 20 points and six rebounds, while Dannielle Diamant and Tailor Jones chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively. Senior Allison Mocchi recorded a career best and team-high eight assists to pace NU, which recorded a season-high 32 assists--the most of any team in the Big Ten so far this season.
"I'd like to thank all the middle schools who came out on Field Trip Day," head coach Joe McKeown said. "It was a terrific crowd and a great environment to play in. It was one of those push and pull games where we were never able to scoot out to a comfortable lead. Give credit to Morgan State, they did a great job of never letting us get out in front by too much."
It was all Northwestern in the early going, as the Wildcats forced three turnovers in the opening three minutes, parlaying them into six points, and added another six on thanks to a pair of triples.
But Morgan State came alive out of a 30-second timeout and showed some three-point marksmanship of its own, generating the next six points from deep, setting the score at 17-9 at the 15-minute mark.
Guided by another pair of three-pointers, the Wildcats composed a 12-6 run to build a 12-point lead, 29-17, with nine minutes remaining in the frame. Midway through the first half, NU was shooting a sizzling 54 percent (12-of-24) from the field and 62 percent (5-of-8) from three.
The Lady Bears slashed NU's double-digit lead to five, 31-26, but the Wildcats pushed the difference back into double figures two minutes later on a lay-in from Mocchi once again gave the 'Cats a double digit advantage.
Northwestern took a 45-37 lead into the locker room after shooting 48 percent from the field. Hackney led all scorers with 16 points while Morgan Jones joined her in double figures with 10.
Morgan State scored five of the second frame's seven points to cut Northwestern's lead to five, 47-42. But the Wildcats responded with a 12-4 run to push their lead to 62-46 just six minutes into the second half.
The Wildcats' lead would swell to as many as 23 midway through the second half, as they improve to 8-1 on the season.
Next up for Northwestern is a trip to Las Vegas where it will face BTI Invitational host UNLV at 7 p.m. CT Sunday. The Wildcats also will face Kansas State and North Dakota State in the event.
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