Jan. 11, 2014
The Last Meeting
February 17, 2013
Northwestern Powers Past Minnesota, 70-63
Northwestern hung tight with Minnesota through the first 30 minutes of play, and pulled away over the final 10 to earn a 70-63 road win over the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena on Sunday afternoon. Senior Kendall Hackney paced the Wildcats with 20 points and eight rebounds as the visitors improved to 12-13 on the year.
NU vs. Minnesota Game Notes
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Sunday’s game at Minnesota begins a stretch of three games in seven days for the Wildcats. With NU’s Big Ten home opener scheduled for Jan. 6 against Illinois postponed due to inclement weather in the Chicagoland area, the Wildcats will now play the Illini at home on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at approximately 8:30 p.m. (after the NU men’s game). The week then wraps up with another home contest on Saturday, Jan. 18 when Wisconsin visits at 2 p.m.
After this week, Northwestern gets back into more of a routine with Thursday/Sunday games for the following two weeks, and then play Thursday/Monday on Feb. 6 and Feb. 10.
LAST TIME OUT
Northwestern took down No. 21/20 Purdue, 71-68, Thursday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena in the Wildcats’ first Big Ten home contest of the year. Despite trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Wildcats used a strong second half to knock off their second ranked opponent of the season and improve to 11-4 on the year, 1-1 in the conference.
Sophomore guard Maggie Lyon saw 20 points to lead the team in scoring, including a perfect 3-3 from long distance. Christen Inman was close behind, scoring 18 points, just one shy of her performance against Nebraska. Freshman Ashley Deary broke a new career high with 11 assists. Lauren Douglas also scored in double digits with 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Alex Cohen chipped in another 10 points and four blocks. Senior guard La’Terria Taylor played valuable minutes, giving Deary a break, with a career-high five rebounds, two assists and no turnovers.
Northwestern is 2-1 in its last three games with a big win over Northeastern, a victory over No. 21/20 Purdue and a narrow one-point loss at then-No. 18/15 Nebraska in the 2014 Big Ten opener. Freshman guard Christen Inman has provided an offensive spark for the Wildcats in the last three, averaging a team-high 21.3 points per game on .615 from the field.
Here are some notable numbers from the last three:
STRONG START FOR WILDCATS
Northwestern is 11-4 through the first 15 games of the season, marking another strong start in the Joe McKeown era. During the 2010-11 season, the Wildcats posted a 12-3 record through the first 15 games and the 2009-10 season saw the Wildcats get out to a similar 11-4 start. NU has played some tough competition as three of its four losses were against teams that are currently ranked in both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ Polls.
Three freshmen are starting for the Wildcats and all three of them have contributed immensely during their short time in Evanston. Nia Coffey and Christen Inman rank No. 1 and No. 2 on the team, respectively, in scoring, while Ashley Deary is the team’s leader in assists. The three of them combined are putting up big numbers for the Wildcats, scoring 515 of the team’s 1,056 points, meaning they are responsible for 48.8 percent of the Northwestern offense. Here are some more numbers on freshmen Coffey, Deary and Inman:
48.8 percent of Northwestern’s points – 515 of 1,056 total points
40.2 percent of Northwestern’s rebounds – 232 of 577 total rebounds
63.6 percent of Northwestern’s assists – 164 of 258 total assists
59.6 percent of Northwestern’s steals – 90 of 151 total steals
HOMECOMING FOR COFFEY
Freshman forward Nia Coffey is the lone Minnesota native on the Northwestern roster and she will be making her first trip back home this weekend. The 6-1 forward is originally from Minneapolis and went to Hopkins High School, where she won three Minnesota state championships and was named Associated Press All-State three times.
2013-14 Record: 11-5, 0-2 B1G
All-Time Series Record: NU leads 32-28; Northwestern won last meeting 70-63 at Minnesota on Feb. 17, 2013
Notable: Minnesota is searching for its first Big Ten win, falling 81-56 vs. Michigan State and again at Iowa on Jan. 8, 78-71. The Gophers have one of the best offensive players in the Big Ten with Rachel Banham as her 21.4 points per game rank second in the conference. Minnesota also has a standout freshman, Amanda Zahui, who is tops in the Big Ten in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and blocks (3.3 bpg). In Minnesota’s game at Iowa, Banham exploded for 32 points while Zahui had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Hawkeyes.
LAST TIME VS. MINNESOTA
Northwestern hung tight with Minnesota through the first 30 minutes of play, and pulled away over the final 10 to earn a 70-63 road win over the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena on Feb. 17, 2013. Senior Kendall Hackney paced the Wildcats with 20 points and eight rebounds.
Northwestern built an eight-point lead with 3:30 remaining, and then relied on efficient free throw shooting to nail down the road victory. Down the stretch, the `Cats buried 10-of-12 chances from the line, led by Lauren Douglas’ 8-of-10 work from the stripe, to salt the game away.
The Wildcats finished with four of five starters in double-figures, Hackney (20), Lyon (16), Douglas (14) and Dannielle Diamant (12).
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