Feb. 19, 2013
Northwestern (12-13, 4-8 Big Ten)
at Michigan State (19-6, 7-5 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Feb. 20 • 6 p.m. CT
Breslin Center (East Lansing, Mich.)
Live Video: Big Ten Digital Network on Wildcats All-Access
Live Audio: WNUR, 89.3 FM (www.wnur.org)
In-Game Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE
NU vs. MSU Game Notes
The Wildcats continue their busy week with two more games, beginning Wednesday night at Michigan State. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT at the Breslin Center. NU then returns home on Saturday to face Wisconsin at noon and wrap up its stretch of three games in seven days.
LAST TIME OUT
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.
Reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week Maggie Lyon picked up where she left off last week, posting seven of Northwestern’s first nine points. Northwestern recorded 11 assists on 12 baskets in the first half, and owned a 15-12 advantage on the glass as they headed to the locker room down 30-29. Thanks in large part to the suffocating defense of Karly Roser, Minnesota’s Rachel Banham - the Big Ten’s leading scorer - was limited to just five points in the opening 20 minutes.
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 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), Lauren Douglas (14) and Dannielle Diamant (12). Roser led the team with five assists and three steals in the 70-63 win.
BACK-TO-BACK HONORS FOR LYON
For the second consecutive week, and the third time overall this season, Wildcats rookie Maggie Lyon (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) has been named the Big Ten Freshman Of The Week, the Conference announced on Tuesday.
In Sunday’s road win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena, Lyon scored seven of the Wildcats first nine points en route to 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, to go along with four assists and three rebounds. The forward has now scored in double-figures in eight consecutive games.
Lyon now leads all Big Ten freshman in points-per-game (12.8), steals-per-game (1.55) and three-point field goals (43), ranks second only to teammate Lauren Douglas in rebounds-per-game (3.8) and ranks third among Conference rookies with 3.05 assists-per-game. She ranks fifth among all Big Ten players in minutes, and among the Conference’s top-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Northwestern freshmen have now captured five of the Big Ten’s 15 weekly awards this season, with three for Lyon and two going to Douglas.
Northwestern has found the formula for winning on the road as the ’Cats have been victorious in three of their last four road games. Those wins included Sunday’s victory at Minnesota, a buzzer-beater at Iowa (67-65) on Feb. 3 and another close 62-58 victory at Illinois on Jan. 20. The lone loss in that stretch was a 77-73 defeat at No. 13 Purdue where the ’Cats pulled within two points within the final minute. Overall, NU is 4-5 in contests away from Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Here’s a look at NU’s numbers in the last four road games, compared to the overall season stats:
Last 4 on the Road Overall
68.0 PPG 63.7
65.8 Opp. PPG 63.5
.473 FG% .416
.340 Opp. FG% .350
17.5 Assists 15.8
.362 3-pt FG% .318
19.0 Hackney PPG 14.3
14.3 Lyon PPG 12.8
Senior forward Kendall Hackney has never missed a game in her Wildcat career and she could tie an NU record on Wednesday. Since her freshman year, Hackney has been a consistent presence in the NU lineup, playing 121 career games, which ties for second in school history. She is one game away from tying the record of 122 games, set by Laura Augustyniak (1979-83). Hackney has the opportunity to break the NU record Saturday, at home, vs. Wisconsin as that would be her 123rd career game at Northwestern.
Hackney also made her 92nd-consecutive appearance in the starting lineup (109 total) Sunday at Minnesota.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
2012-13 Record: 19-6, 7-5 B1G
All-Time Series Record: MSU leads 39-22
Of Note: This is the second meeting of the season between the Wildcats and Spartans with MSU taking the narrow 67-62 victory Jan. 31 in Evanston. Since then, MSU has gone 2-2 with victories at home vs. Michigan (61-46) and Indiana (72-42) also lost at Penn State (71-56) and dropped a one-point game at Michigan (70-69).
In MSU’s last game at Michigan, senior guard Jasmine Thomas tallied a career-high 21 points. Junior guard Klarissa Bell continues to lead MSU in scoring at 11.9 points per game and the Spartans keep things balanced on offense with five other players averaging at least 8.5 points per game.
Michigan State has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten, limiting opponents to a conference-best 51.0 points per game. MSU foes are also shooting just 35.5 percent from the field (third in the Big Ten).
NU plays its second-to-last home game Saturday, Feb. 23 at noon against Wisconsin. The ’Cats welcome all Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (8th grade an under) for the team’s annual Scout Day. Participants can pre-register to receive a game ticket, NU basketball t-shirt, Northwestern Scout Badge, lunch and a pregame clinic. Northwestern basketball t-shirt, Northwestern Scout Badge, lunch and pregame clinic. For more information, or to sign up, email email@example.com. The women's basketball team will also be available for autographs after the game.
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