Jan. 4, 2014
NU vs. Illinois Game Notes
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern returns to Welsh-Ryan Arena for the first time since Dec. 21, hosting in-state rival Illinois in its Big Ten home opener. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. and this is the lone regular-season meeting of the year between the in-state rivals.
Monday's game is part of a two-game homestand for the Wildcats as they also welcome No. 17/19 Purdue to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Thursday, Jan. 9.
LAST TIME OUT
Northwestern opened up the 2014 Big Ten slate Thursday, playing on the road at No. 18/15 Nebraska. The Wildcats went toe-to-toe with the preseason conference favorites but Nebraska took the narrow 66-65 victory.
NU freshman guard Christen Inman led the team with 19 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field. Fellow freshman Nia Coffey added 16 points while sophomore Lauren Douglas chipped in 13 points off the bench, all coming in the second half. Freshman point guard, 5-foot-4 Ashley Deary, grabbed a career-high nine rebounds to go along with seven assists.
It was a back-and-forth game for the full 40 minutes. Trailing by one at 66-65, Northwestern had the ball with 16.1 seconds to play. Maggie Lyon had a great look from 3-point range that just missed and NU fouled the Huskers quickly on the other end. Rachel Theriot missed the front end of the bonus, giving the Wildcats one last shot but Ashley Deary was unable to get her half-court heave off before time expired, giving Nebraska the narrow 66-65 win.
INMAN SHINES IN LAST TWO
Christen Inman has stepped up offensively in the last two games, leading the team with a career-high 27 points vs. Northeastern and another 19 at Nebraska. Inman is just the second Big Ten player this year to go 100.0 percent from the field with at least eight field goals as Darryce Moore of Ohio State went 9-of-9 vs. VCU. NU records list top single-game field goal percentages with a minimum of nine attempts but Inman's perfect game ranks up thee with Patricia Babcock who went 10-10 vs. Wake Forest on Dec. 4, 1993 and Mary Murphy, who was 9-9 vs. St. Francis on Dec. 10, 1977.
DOUGLAS DELIVERS IN NEW ROLE
Sophomore forward Lauren Douglas started all but one game for the Wildcats a year ago, but this year, she has emerged as one of the top sixth players in the country. The Collierville, Tenn., native is one of the first players off the bench for NU and she has put up impressive numbers in a reserve role, averaging 11.2 points per game (fourth on the team) on .462 from the field while also grabbing 4.4 rebounds in just 23.0 minutes per contest. Last year, Douglas averaged 9.2 ppg on .368 from the field with 4.6 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game.
In the last six games, she has improved her offensive production, averaging 15.3 points per game with four games in double figures, including a career-high 26 points vs. DePaul. During that six-game span, Douglas averaged 22.8 minutes a game.
2013-14 Record: 7-7, 0-1 B1G
All-Time Series Record: Northwestern leads 35-33; NU won last meeting, 62-58 in Champaign, Ill. on Jan. 20, 2013
Notable: Illinois posted a 7-6 nonconference record and opened its Big Ten season Friday with a 76-64 loss at home against Wisconsin. Amber Moore led the Illini during the nonconference season, scoring a team-high 18.8 points per game and grabbing 6.4 rebounds per game. Moore ranks sixth in NCAA Division I with 3.62 3-point field goals per game. The Illini are 0-4 in road contests this year.
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