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Feb. 8, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern returns to Welsh-Ryan Arena Thursday night to take on Iowa. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. CST and will be broadcast live by Fox Sports Net Chicago. The Wildcats are coming off a 101-40 road loss to No. 10 Michigan State last Thursday while Iowa enters the game after dropping an 88-78 home contest to Wisconsin.
Senior Sarah Kwasinski (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) and junior Ifeoma Okonkwo (Spring Texas/Klein Oak) have led the Wildcats consistently throughout the season. Kwasinski is averaging 12.6 ppg (1st), 5.0 rpg (3rd) and 34 blocks (1st). Okonkwo ranks second in scoring (12.1 ppg), and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and steals(35).
Iowa features two players on the team averaging double figures in Big Ten play in senior Jamie Cavey (16.8 ppg/7th) and junior Crystal Smith (15.6 ppg). In addition to scoring, Cavey ranks in the top 10 in league action in field goal percentage (.569/4th), rebounding (6.4 rpg/10th), blocked shots (1.5/6th), and defensive rebounds (4.5/9th).
Last Time Out
Against the Spartans, Kwasinski blocked three shots to become NU's career shot block leader, besting Anucha Brown's record of 174 blocks set from 1982-85. Kwasinski currently has 176 career blocks. She also added 10 points and five assists for the Wildcats.
Northwestern's Samantha McComb (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) went 3-of-5 from 3-point land to extend her league-best 3-point percentage in Big Ten play (.548). She finished with a team-high 11 points.
Liz Shimek added 21 points, Rene Haynes 19 and Lindsay Bowen 12 for the Spartans, who scored in triple digits for the first time in more than four years. It was the Spartans third-highest point total in conference play and their first 100-point game in the Big Ten since 1997.
The Spartans shot 60 percent from the field, outrebounded the Wildcats 47-19 and had 28 assists in their most-lopsided win since an 84-23 victory over Notre Dame in 1975. Michigan State had a 29-0 advantage in points off turnovers and a 19-0 lead in fast-break points.
The Wildcats return to Welsh-Ryan for Thursday's contest against the Hawkeyes, and host Indiana on Sunday. NU wraps-up the 2004-05 regular season with three of its last four games on the road. Northwestern travels to Illinois (Feb. 16), Penn State (Feb. 20), Wisconsin (Feb. 23) before hosting Minnesota on Feb. 27. The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament, held at Conseco Field House in Indianapolis, Ind., begins on Thursday, March 3 and runs through Monday, March 7 (Please see page 7 for more information).
All-Time Record: Iowa leads, 34-12
Last Meeting: 84-76, Iowa (Jan. 16, 2005)
Series Streak: 8, Iowa