Feb. 13, 2014
NU vs. Minnesota Game Notes
EVANSTON, Ill. -- It will be a busy day Saturday as the Northwestern women’s basketball team hosts Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. and there are plenty of activies before and after the game for Wildcat fans.
Here are a few events surrounding Saturday’s contest at Welsh-Ryan Arena:
• National Girls & Women In Sports Day - The third annual event takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday (registration at 12:45 p.m.) and gives girls in the 4th-12th grades the unique opportunity to interact with NU coaches and student-athletes and other women that work in sports. Northwestern lacrosse head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller will serve as this year's keynote speaker. Participants must pre-register for this even and can do so by contacting Heather Obering at email@example.com or by calling 847-491-7723. More info can be found with this link.
• Student Shuttle - There will be a FREE shuttle providing transportation for students. The shuttle route can be found with this link.
• Chicago Sky Clinic – Runs pregame in the back gym of Welsh-Ryan Arena. More info can be found here.
• Pink Zone Game - Northwestern will be wearing pink uniforms and shoes in honor of the team’s annual WBCA Pink Zone game. The Wildcats will honor doctors from Northwestern Memorial’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University during Saturday’s game. Additionally, early-arriving fans will receive FREE pink t-shirts.
• Alumni Weekend – A number of former Northwestern women’s basketball players will be in attendance at Saturday’s game for Alumni Weekend.
• Postgame Autographs – The Wildcats will be available in the lobby after the game to sign autographs for fans.
Northwestern has 172 blocks so far this year, which is a new program record. With six blocks at Iowa, NU surpassed the program record of 169 blocks in a season, set by last year’s squad. NU is now chasing Big Ten history. With five regular-season games left, the Wildcats look to crack the top 10 in single-season Big Ten history and possibly take the top spot. NU would need 39 more blocks to tie the conference record. Here’s a look at the top 10 for a single-season amongst Big Ten teams:
1. 211 - Michigan State (2006-07)
2. 206 - Michigan State (2007-08)
- Michigan State (2009-10)
- Illinois (2009-10)
5. 195 - Purdue (2006-07)
6. 192 - Michigan State (2008-09)
7. 189 - Iowa (2012-13)
8. 185 - Purdue (2011-12)
9. 184 - Penn State (2001-02)
10. 181 - Ohio State (2011-12)
-- 172 - Northwestern (2013-14)
COFFEY MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN
Freshman forward Nia Coffey left the Indiana game (1/31) early with a left ankle injury, missed all of the Penn State contest (2/2) and played limited minutes against Michigan (2/6). Against Iowa, she made a statement with a career-high 29 points and a team-best 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. NU is 4-3 when Coffey reaches 20+ points and 6-1 when she posts a double-double.
Nia Coffey wasn’t the only Wildcat to have a breakout performance at Iowa as sophomore forward Lauren Douglas scored 25 points, one off her career high, in just 29 minutes off the bench. She was 10-of-16 from the field, including 3-for-6 from long distance. NU’s game vs. the Hawkeyes marked the third time this year the Wildcats had two players finish with 20 or more points. The other games were vs. Northeastern when Christen Inman had 27 and Maggie Lyon added 20 and vs. DePaul when Douglas recorded her career-best 26 points and Coffey added 20.
Lauren Douglas has emerged as one of the top 3-point shooters in the Big Ten. The 6-2 forward ranks fourth in the conference with a .438 3-point field goal percentage. Douglas has made at least one 3-point field goal in 19 of 23 games played and has nine games this year with at least two made 3-pointers. The Wildcats are 6-3 in those contests.
Northwestern has three wins over ranked opponents this year, which leads the Big Ten, along with Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State. The Wildcats secured victories against then-No. 25/25 DePaul, No. 21/20 Purdue and No. 21/18 Nebraska. The Wildcats have played nine games this year where their opponent was either ranked or receiving votes and most of those games have been close with seven of those contests decided by six points or less.
2013-14 Record: 16-9, 5-6 B1G
All-Time Series Record: NU leads 32-29; Minnesota won last meeting, 94-59 on Jan. 12, 2014 in Minneapolis.
Notable: Minnesota has been on a roll lately as winners of its last three games, including a 63-50 win at Wisconsin on Wednesday night. The Golden Gophers are in the midst of playing three games in seven days as they also defeated Illinois, 66-61 on Sunday, Feb. 9. Junior guard Rachel Banham leads the Big Ten in scoring average with 22.1 points a game and ups that average to 23.2 points in Big Ten contests. Freshman Amanda Zahui ranks in the top 10 in the conference for points (15.1 ppg - 10th), rebounds (10.7 rpg - 1st), field goal percentage (.554 - 3rd) and blocks (3.0 bpg - 2nd).
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