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    'Cats Begin Big Ten Season at No. 9 Penn State

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman forward Christen Johnson had a productive 15 minutes off the bench vs. Chicago State with eight points and seven rebounds.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman forward Christen Johnson had a productive 15 minutes off the bench vs. Chicago State with eight points and seven rebounds.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Jan. 2, 2013

    Northwestern (8-5)
    at No. 9 Penn State (10-2)
    Thursday, Jan. 3 • 6 p.m. CT
    Bryce Jordan Center (University Park, Pa.)
    Live Video: Big Ten Digital Network on Wildcats All-Access
    Live Audio: WNUR, 89.3 FM (www.wnur.org)
    Gametracker: NUsports.com
    In-Game Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE


     

     

    Northwestern vs. Penn State Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    THURSDAY’S GAME
    Northwestern opens up its Big Ten schedule against a tough foe on Thursday, playing No. 9 Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions are the highest-ranked Big Ten team, ranking No. 9 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
     
    Thursday’s game is the second of three games this week for the Wildcats. NU closed out its nonconference schedule Monday against Chicago State and after Thursday’s game, travels to Bloomington, Ind., to take on the Hoosiers at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday.
     
    LAST TIME OUT
    Sophomore point guard Karly Roser posted a career-high-tying 16 points and nine rebounds as Northwestern closed out 2012 and the nonconference portion of its season with an 82-38 victory over Chicago State Monday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    NU showed no signs of rust following the holiday break as it scored the opening 12 points of the contest to storm out to a big early lead and never looked back. Northwestern’s 44-point victory was the largest margin of victory in the Joe McKeown era and ties for the largest since 1993. The Wildcats defeated Eastern Illinois by 47 points (104-57) at home on Jan. 4, 1993 and also had a 44-point victory over Morgan State (82-38) at home on Dec. 6, 1996.

    The 38 points scored by Chicago State were just one off the record for an opponent low in the Joe McKeown era. The Wildcats held Dartmouth to just 37 points on Nov. 12, 2010, which is the least amount of points scored by an NU opponent in the McKeown era.

    RETURN OF LYON
    Freshman forward Maggie Lyon returned to the rotation Monday against Chicago State after missing the previous five games. Lyon logged 15 minutes off the bench and scored 10 points and had three steals in her return. Lyon has scored in double-figures in every game she has played this year.
     
    CRASH THE GLASS
    Northwestern dominated the glass Monday afternoon against Chicago State, grabbing 57 rebounds while limiting the Cougars to 37 boards. NU is second in the Big Ten in defensive rebounds, averaging 29.2 a game. Senior forward/center Dannielle Diamant ranks fourth in the conference in rebounding, averaging 8.5 per game, but leads the entire Big Ten in defensive rebounding, grabbing 7.4 a game. Purdue’s Sam Ostarello ranks second behind Diamant with 6.7 defensive rebounds per game.
     
    EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES
    Ten of the 11 Wildcats that played on Monday afternoon against Chicago State scored. Freshman forward Christen Johnson had a productive 11 minutes off the bench, scoring a career high eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and had two assists. Senior forward Kate Popovec also had a quality stat line in 12 minutes with nine points, nine rebounds and a block.
     
    OPPONENT PROFILE: PENN STATE
    2012-13 Record: 10-2
    All-Time Series Record: Penn State leads, 30-7
    Of Note: The Nittany Lions are the defending Big Ten regular-season champions and are out to a 10-2 start. Junior guard Maggie Lucas is one of the biggest scoring threats in the Big Ten, averaging 20.9 points per game, which ranks second in the conference. The Nittany Lions are also one of the highest-scoring teams in the Big Ten, averaging 74.3 points per game to rank second in the conference.
     
    UP NEXT
    Northwestern continues its Big Ten slate on the road, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., for Sunday’s game vs. Indiana. Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. The Wildcats play their first Big Ten home game Thursday, Jan. 10 against Illinois at 7 p.m.

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