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    'Cats Come Up Short in Close Battle With No. 9 Cal, 71-65

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Karly Roser scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half Monday against No. 9 California.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Karly Roser scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half Monday against No. 9 California.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 17, 2012

    Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: No. 9 California 71, Northwestern 65
    Records: NU (6-4), Cal (8-1)
    Next NU Event: Saturday, Dec. 22 – vs. Ole Miss – Hempstead, N.Y. – 2 p.m. CT
     
    EVANSTON, Ill. – It was a back-and-forth battle between Northwestern and No. 9 California during Field Trip Day Monday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. After 12 ties and 13 lead changes, including eight in the second half, it was the Golden Bears who emerged the narrow 71-65 victors.
     
    Cal came into Monday’s contest defeating its opponents by an average of 24.4 points per game but NU battled the entire game, giving the Golden Bears their slimmest margin of victory on the year.
     
    After missing most of the last two games with an injury sustained early in the Illinois State game, senior forward Dannielle Diamant returned to the starting lineup Monday and posted her fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-high-tying 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Karly Roser led NU in scoring with 16 points to go along with seven assists while freshman forward Lauren Douglas chipped in 14 points, eight of which came from the free throw line (8-9). Cal’s Brittany Boyd led the Golden Bears with 18 points.
     
    The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead by taking advantage of cold shooting and missed free throws by Cal. NU went on top 10-5 early after a 3-pointer by Diamant and again at 12-5 thanks to two free throws by Roser. At that point in the game, the Golden Bears were just 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-4 from the free throw line.
     
    Cal started to pick up steam and went on a 10-4 run, taking its first lead of the game at 17-16 but did not lead by more than four points in the ensuing minutes. Two Diamant points in the paint evened things up at 20-20 and senior forward Kendall Hackney drained a long-range jumper putting the Wildcats ahead again, 22-20.
     
    Both teams traded buckets down the stretch with four lead changes in the final minutes of the half but Cal took the 33-32 edge into the locker room. Northwestern finished the first frame 11-of-25 for 44.0 percent from the field while Cal had a similar clip at 13-of-29 for 44.8 percent. Roser was 4-of-5 from the field for 10 points, along with five assists, while Diamant had in nine points and seven rebounds.
     
    Northwestern jumped out to a five-point lead (38-33) early in the second half as Cal did not make its first field goal until 14:34 left in the half. Again, both teams kept the game close by trading buckets with four ties and five lead changes in the early stages of the half, and that pattern continued for a majority of the second.
     
    Trailing by one with 3:24 remaining, Douglas converted a key and-one opportunity for the Wildcats, putting them back on top once again at 56-54. Cal responded with an and-one opportunity of its own as Gennifer Brandon scored a layup for the 12th tie of the game and then converted the free throw for the 13th and final lead change of the game.
     
    Cal continued to maintain its lead in the final minutes and hung on for the 71-65 victory.
     
    Both teams were fairly even on the stat sheet, shooting just under 40 percent as NU went 39.6 percent from the field while Cal was 39.1 percent and both squads combined for just 2-of-19 from 3-point range.
     
    Northwestern now hits the road for two weekend games in Hempstead, N.Y. The Wildcats take on Ole Miss Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. CT and then play the host team, Hofstra, Sunday at noon CT.

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