Dec. 22, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -
An 18-2 run to close the first half helped Northwestern stretch out its lead as it downed local foe Loyola Chicago 85-58 Tuesday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Brittany Orban led the Wildcats with a season-high 22 points, while freshman Kendall Hackney added a career-best 20 points off the bench.
The victory allowed NU (10-2) to run its winning streak to five straight games while improving to 20-0 all-time against the Ramblers (5-5).
The Ramblers were connecting from beyond the arch early on, hitting on five of their first nine attempts to trail the Wildcats by only four at 23-19 with 7:40 remaining. But it was all Northwestern the rest of the opening stanza.
Loyola cooled off as it hit just one of its final nine field goal attempts and committed four turnovers as NU closed the half by scoring 18 of the period's final 20 points to take a 41-21 advantage into the locker rooms. Orban led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 12 points.
Northwestern shot 57.7 percent from the field (15-26) in the first half to just 27.6 percent (8-29) for the Ramblers.
Loyola remained within 18 points three minutes into the second half, but a nine-point run by the Wildcats put the game out of reach.
Orban connected on 8-of-11 field goal attempts, including nailing four 3-pointers, while Hackney was 8-of-9 from the field. Orban's solid all-around effort included six rebounds and five assists.
After shooting a season-best 57.1 percent in a win over Chicago State last Saturday, Northwestern improved upon that mark by connecting on 59.2 percent of their field goal tries against the Ramblers.
The Wildcats also dominated on the glass, posting a 44-21 advantage, paced by nine boards by Dannielle Diamant who fell one rebound shy of a double-double as she tallied 10 points. Amy Jaeschke added 16 points for NU. Maggie McCloskey had a team-high 15 points for Loyola.
Northwestern returns to action Dec. 28 as it travels to Michigan.