Feb. 23, 2010
Hey Wildcat Fans!
We went 2-0 at home this week! After losing to both Indiana and Iowa earlier this year it was nice to even the score. We beat Indiana in overtime, 78-73 and also toppled Iowa, 72-66. Our team definitely kept the fans on their toes in both games as they went down to the wire. These past few games have been a lot of fun to play in because our team is playing its best basketball of the season. The other good news is now I can brag to my mom and sister (both Hoosier alums) since we beat Indiana!
Indiana was by far the most "edge of your seat" game we have played this year. With four minutes left, we finally tied the game after being down as much as nine points in the second half. We quickly went down again by six and had to fight back to push the game into overtime. We did so by hitting five of our last five shots. Danielle [Diamant] hit a three pointer in the corner to make it a three-point game which is when coach called our last time out. It is tough having no timeouts left because Coach McKeown cannot draw up either offensive or defensive plays with the final minutes winding down. However we were prepared because of the countless times we practiced end-of-game situations. Out of the timeout Kendall [Hackney] hit two jumpers near the free throw line and Kristin [Catrwright] followed with a three pointer on the wing. Unfortunately Indiana was hitting shots too, so we were still behind by three. Now let me interrupt this play by play to tell you a little story.
As I mentioned earlier, we practice end-of-game situations a lot during the week. Two weeks ago we actually practiced a situation where the purple team was down three points with 10 seconds left on the clock. Our assistant coach, Coach Jaques, drew up a play for Meshia Reed to take the ball and dribble full court to draw the defense and then kick back for a three, that way we would tie the scrimmage and go into overtime. We set up the play and Meshia went streaking down the court, ball in hand, and she had a wide open layup at the basket, instead of pitching the ball back, she shot and made the layup. Everyone went dead silent, as they were confused as to why she took the layup instead of kicking it back out for the scrimmage-tying three pointer. Instead, we lost by one. Coach Jaques couldn't understand why she didn't run the play for the win and literally asked her for the next two days what was going through her mind.
Back to the game, we are down three with 12 seconds left on the clock. Since we had no time outs left, we ran the exact play Coach Jaques had drawn up two weeks earlier. Meshia took the ball speeding down the court where she blew by her defender and had a wide-open layup once again. However, this time, she pitched the ball back to Beth Marshall
who drained a three to send the game into overtime where we won. Back in the locker room everyone was talking about how they thought Meshia was going to shoot the layup. It was great to see all the hard work everyone put in during practice come into play in the final minutes of the game.
Before our Indiana game, the Catbackers Club hosted an event for members of our basketball program. I was fortunate enough to attend and got to mingle with a lot of our super fans. After we left, Coach McKeown and Coach Prince held a Q&A session with the club. It was nice talking to them, as they are such huge supporters of our team and we appreciate having them at the games.
This week we play the ninth-ranked team in the nation, Ohio State. They are 14-3 in the conference, just coming off an overtime loss to Michigan State. They have a very skilled post player, Jantel Lavander, who averages 20 points 10 rebounds a game, and is accompanied by a talented point guard, Samantha Prahalis, who averages 16 points and 9 assists per game.
Following Ohio State, we return home to play Illinois. It is our last game of the regular season and Senior Night. We will be honoring our two seniors, Kaitlin McInerney and Kristin Cartwright, who have contributed a lot over their careers at Northwestern. Please come out send them off with bang!
Until next time,