Jan. 23, 1998
Wildcat Women's Hoops Battles Back, Falls Just Short at Illinois
Divjak and Chawansky Lone 'Cats in Double Figures
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois used a 13-0 run to start the game and
fought off a frantic Wildcat comeback in the second half as the
sixth-ranked Illini recorded a 70-60 victory over Northwestern on Friday
night. Illinois improves to 14-5, 8-1 Big Ten. The 'Cats drop to 6-14,
1-7 Big Ten.
It was a tale of two halves for NU. Illinois came out of the gates
smoking, holding the Wildcats scoreless until Kristina Divjak hit a layup
nearly 4 1/2 minutes into the contest. The Illini continued to dominate in
the opening period, eventually taking a 40-13 lead into the locker room.
UI shot 57 percent (17-30) from the field in the first half while the 'Cats
were just 5-30 (.167).
The Illinois lead was 31 points at 48-17 with 17:17 left in the
game when the Wildcats began to claw back. NU outscored the Illini 15-3
over the next five minutes to cut the gap to 51-32 with 12:17 remaining.
Both teams played even for the next five minute of the half, as UI led
59-39 with 7:05 left. However, a quick 8-0 run by NU over the next 1:11
closed the gap to just 12 points at 59-47 with 5:54 remaining on the clock.
The gap would close to eight at 68-60 with 46 seconds remainig, but time
expired before the Wildcats could complete the comeback. NU outscored the
Illini 47-30 in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Divjak, after having just two points and zero rebounds at halftime,
ended the contest with team-highs of 17 points and nine rebounds. Amber
DeWall added nine boards, seven assists and four steals before fouling out
with less than a minute remaining in the game. Megan Chawansky added 12
points, seven boards and five steals in the loss. NU as a team collected
18 offensive boards and 13 steals while hitting 22-of-26 free throws on the
night. Ashley Berggren led Illinois with 16 points while Nicole Vasey had
10 points and 12 rebounds.
The 'Cats face Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m. CST in East
Lansing. The game will be broadcast by WNUR 89.3 FM radio, and televised
live in the greater Lansing area by MediaOne.