Jan. 15, 2012
Northwestern (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten) vs. Illinois (6-11, 0-4 Big Ten)
Monday, Jan. 16, 2012
Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Evanston, Ill. 6:30 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network (Stephanie White, Lisa Byington)
Audio: WNUR 89.3 FM and sports.wnur.org
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Coming off an admirable performance in Columbus Thursday, Northwestern welcomes intra-state nemesis Illinois to Welsh-Ryan Arena Monday evening. Tip goes up at 6:30 p.m. and will be carried live on the Big Ten Network with Stephanie White and former Wildcat Lisa Byington on the call.
Northwestern will be running a student shuttle starting at 5:45 at the Arch. The shuttle will run continuously to and from Welsh-Ryan Arena as well as after the game. Black t-shirts will be available for fans in special seating areas. The team also will be signing autographs in the lobby at the conclusion of the contest.
The Wildcats enter the contest with a record of 11-6 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play while the Illini are 6-11 overall and 0-4 in the Conference. Following Monday's game, NU resumes the usual Thursday-Sunday League routine, facing Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday at Welsh-Ryan before traveling north to Wisconsin for a 2 p.m. tilt with the Badgers.
Last Time Out...
Northwestern fought tooth and nail, but No. 11/13 Ohio State used a 10-0 spurt toward the end of the game to hang on for an 82-72 win at Value City Arena Thursday night. Junior Dannielle Diamant paced Northwestern (11-6, 1-3) with a career-best 23 points while Kendall Hackney, Morgan Jones and Tailor Jones also reached double figures.
Illinois Fighting Illini
2011-12 Record: 6-11, 0-4
Series History: Northwestern leads, 33-31
Last Meeting: Feb. 3 2011; in Evanston, Northwestern, 80-79
Of Note: Northwestern has won the last two contests against Illinois, but they have been entertaining to say the least. The Wildcats upset Illinois in overtime at Champaign last year, thanks to a game-tying three-point heave by Beth Marshall at the end of regulation. In Evanston, a fadeaway jumper by Amy Jaeschke with 1.4 seconds remaining lifted NU over Illinois, 80-79. The two regular-season victories gave Northwestern its first sweep over the Illini since 1996.
One More Look At Ohio State
When the Wildcats left Columbus Thursday, they departed with nothing to be ashamed of, coming into the lair of the No. 11/13 team in the country who had just been issued their first loss of the year. Looking at the stat sheet, Northwestern shot a season-high 52.9 percent compared to OSU's 50.8 percent and nearly matched them in every other category. The telling number came in the turnover column where Ohio State converted 17 'Cat miscues into 30 points. Amber Stokes and Samantha Prahalis combined for six of those turnovers.
Though Northwestern dropped a well-played contest at No. 11/13 Ohio State Thursday, it marked just the second time this season the Wildcats lost in true road games (not including neutral site contests). NU is 6-2 away from Welsh-Ryan Arena, having posted several impressive victories including at LSU, a place that had been a safe haven for the Lady Tigers in the past, as they were 155-11 over the last 14 years against unranked teams. The 'Cats proceeded knocked off then-unbeaten Missouri in Columbia 10 days later. Northwestern also has won at Central Michigan, at Loyola, at UNLV and at Indiana a week ago.
No Easy Path
As Northwestern enters the heart of the Big Ten season, its competition soars to another level. In total, six conference teams are ranked or receiving votes this week, including four ranked squads in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Ohio State leads the conference contingent in both polls, appearing as high as No. 11 in the Associated Press (AP) poll and No. 13 in the coaches rankings. Nebraska jumps four spots to No. 15 in the AP and is No. 23 in the coaches poll. Purdue climbs one spot to No. 17 in the AP poll and two spots to No. 20 in the coaches ranks. Penn State rounds out the coaches poll at No. 25 and is receiving votes from the AP.
Hackney Approaches 1,000-Point Plateau
Junior Kendall Hackney needs just 35 more points to join the 1,000-point club. Hackney would be the 14th Wildcat to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Hackney also is 60 rebounds away from 500 on her career.
When you talk about the Wildcats this season, freshmen Morgan Jones and Karly Roser will undoubtedly be at the forefront of conversation. The two freshmen have started every game for Northwestern this season, following in the footsteps of another duo, Kendall Hackney and Dannielle Diamant, who also saw significant floor time in their first year in Evanston. Jones and Roser not only contribute in the points column, but also in the assists category. When the two combine to dish out 12 or more assists, the 'Cats are undefeated (5-0). Another fun fact--when Diamant scores 10 or more points, the Wildcats are 8-2.
Complete game notes can be found by clicking on the PDF above.
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