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    'Cats Host Illinois in Thursday's Big Ten Home Opener

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM NU plays its first of eight Big Ten home games Thursday against Illinois.
    NU plays its first of eight Big Ten home games Thursday against Illinois.

    Jan. 8, 2013

    Northwestern (8-7, 0-2 Big Ten)
    vs. Illinois (8-6, 1-1 Big Ten)

    Thursday, Jan. 10 • 7 p.m.
    Welsh-Ryan Arena (Evanston, Ill.)
    Live Video: Big Ten Digital Network on Wildcats All-Access
    Live Audio: WNUR, 89.3 FM (
    In-Game Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE

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    NU vs. Illinois Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    After playing their first two Big Ten games on the road, the Wildcats return to Welsh-Ryan Arena to host their first conference foe of the season. In-state rival Illinois visits Evanston on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game. NU is in search of its first Big Ten win of the season while the Illini are 1-1 against the conference.

    Northwestern, students, be sure to pick up the FREE shuttle on Sheridan Road to catch the ’Cats on Thursday! There will be signs directing students to the shuttle, which begins at 6:15 p.m. and will drop off at Welsh-Ryan Arena prior to the game. Students can also take the shuttle back to campus following the game.

    Also, be sure to stay in your seats at halftime to watch the Evanston Special Olympics teams play basketball during the break.

    Northwestern played three games last week, closing out the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 44-point victory over Chicago State and dropped two close games to open the Big Ten season.

    On Sunday, Northwestern went toe-to-toe with Indiana at historic Assembly Hall, but fell in a 68-64 decision to the Hoosiers on the road. Kendall Hackney paced the Wildcats with 18 points in the losing effort.

    Hackney added five rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal to her team-high 18 points. Diamant led the ‘Cats with seven boards, while Karly Roser collected a team-high eight assists to go with 12 points.

    It was a memorable game against Illinois last year in Evanston as then-freshman guard Karly Roser sealed the NU victory, scoring the game-winning free throw with 2.6 seconds left. NU hung on for the 59-58 win as Dannielle Diamant led the way with 16 points.

    Karly Roser is currently on a streak of six straight games in double-figure scoring. The Hamilton, Ontario native, tallied double digits in all three games last week, tying her career high of 16 points against Chicago State and again at Penn State and then added 12 more at Indiana. Roser has scored 10-plus points in nine games this year, which is one more than her eight double-digit scoring games during her freshman campaign.

    As NU’s floor general, Roser leads the team with 6.5 assists per game, which ranks second in the conference. Iowa’s Samantha Logic is the Big Ten leader with a 7.1 clip.

    2012-13 Record:
    8-6, 1-1 B1G
    All-Time Series Record:
    Northwestern leads, 34-32
    Of Note:
    Senior forward Karisma Penn is this week’s Big Ten Player of the Week, earning back-to-back honors. Penn posted a career-high 34-point outburst, including a school-record 16 made free throws in 17 attempts, in the Illini’s 79-73 win at Ohio State on Sunday. She averaged 24.5 points per game as Illinois split two Big Ten contests during the week to move to 8-6 overall, 1-1 in conference play.

    The Fighting Illini received four votes in this week’s Associated Press poll, marking the first time since Dec. 7, 2009, that Illinois had been mentioned in the “others receiving votes” portion of the ranking.

    Illinois is under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Bollant, who spent the previous five seasons at Green Bay. Bollant guided the Phoenix to five straight Horizon League titles and four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

    After today’s game, the Wildcats are off of competition until next Thursday, Jan. 17, when Michigan visits Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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