Jan. 29, 2012
Box Score | Photo Gallery
WATCH: Game Highlights | Postgame News Conference
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 68, Indiana 61
Records: NU (13-9, 3-6 Big Ten), Indiana (5-17, 0-9 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Thursday, Feb. 2 -- at Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) 5:30 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill.-- Northwestern fought off a late comeback bid by Indiana to claim a 68-61 victory at Welsh-Ryan Arena Sunday afternoon. Both Dannielle Diamant (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Kendall Hackney (16 points, 11 rebounds) posted double-doubles for NU, the first duo to do so this year. With the win, the Wildcats swept the season series for the first time since the 1996-97 season and improved to 13-9.
Morgan Jones also notched 17 points for Northwestern, marking the fourth time this season that three `Cats have recorded 15 or more points in a game.
"It came down to the last minute, and we were just fortunate to make some plays" head coach Joe McKeown said after the win. "We got up 10 or 12 in the second half, but IU did a great job of coming back. It was just a tough, hard-nosed Big Ten game. That's the only way to explain it."
Trailing 8-7 early on, Northwestern composed a 7-0 run to take a 14-8 lead just five minutes in. The Wildcats stretched the advantage to 20-12 with 11 minutes remaining, as Hackney (10) and Diamant (7) accounted for 17 of the 20 NU points.
A baseline jumper gave Indiana a 30-29 edge at the two-minute mark, its first time in front since over 15 minutes remained in the half. But Morgan Jones responded on the next possession with a triple from the top of the key to regain the lead, and a Tailor Jones lay-in propelled the `Cats to a 34-32 lead at the half.
Karly Roser paced NU with five assists in the first stanza, while Tailor Jones put up four points and six boards off the bench.
The Wildcats came out of the break firing on all cylinders, putting together a 9-0 spurt to start the half. Northwestern outscored the Hoosiers 13-3 over the first six minutes to build a 47-35 lead--its largest of the afternoon. Morgan Jones sank two threes and added a fast-break layup to account for eight of 10 NU points during the stretch.
Indiana slowly chipped away at the deficit, cutting NU's lead to 52-50 with under nine minutes to play. However, Meghan McKeown followed a Hackney free-throw with a big transition three to widen the advantage to six, 56-50, just a minute later.
A 7-1 run by the Hoosiers closed the gap to four, 63-59, with two minutes on the clock. A little over a minute later, with NU's lead at three, Diamant went to the line and sank two free throws with 15 seconds on the clock.
Hackney sealed the victory, blocking IU's subsequent three-point attempt and throwing a no-look pass to Diamant to save the ball from going out of bounds. Diamant was fouled with four seconds remaining and sank two more from the line to set the final margin.
Northwestern is next in action on Thursday, February 2, when it heads to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan. Tip is set for 5:30 p.m. CT on the Big Ten Network.
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