March 4, 2014
2014 Big Ten Tournament Notes
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern looks to make a run in March and it all begins this weekend in Indianapolis at the 2014 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. NU is the No. 9 seed and will face No. 8 seed Ohio State Thursday, March 6 at 11 a.m. CT/Noon ET. The winner of Thursday's game will take on No. 1 seed Penn State, Friday, March 7 at 11 a.m. CT/Noon ET. This is the first time Northwestern has faced Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Wildcats bring a 15-14 record into the tournament, marking the third time during head coach Joe McKeown's tenure that NU has taken a winning record into the Big Ten Tournament (16-14 heading into 2010 Big Ten Tournament, 17-12 going into 2011 Big Ten Tournament). NU closed the regular season with an overtime victory over Wisconsin to go above .500.
NO. 9 IS JUST FINE
This is just the second time Northwestern has been the No. 9 seed at the Big Ten Tournament. The last time the Wildcats were seeded ninth was in 1999 and they took down No. 8 seed Iowa, 75-71 in the first round before dropping a 79-56 game against top-seeded Purdue.
FOUR WILDCATS EARN ALL-BIG TEN DISTINCTION
Four Wildcat underclassmen picked up All-Big Ten honors as the conference announced its annual postseason awards on March 3. Freshman forward Nia Coffey earned First Team All-Big Ten distinction in her first season at Northwestern as she was selected to the 11-player team by the conference coaches. Additionally, Coffey also received Second Team All-Big Ten honors from the media and was named to the five-player All-Freshman Team.
Sophomores Lauren Douglas and Maggie Lyon, along with freshman Ashley Deary also received All-Big Ten consideration. Lyon picked up Honorable Mention honors from the conference coaches and media while Douglas was an Honorable Mention pick by the coaches. The Big Ten media selected Deary for Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. It is the second straight year that four of head coach Joe McKeown's players received All-Big Ten consideration.
LAST TIME OUT
Northwestern played its first overtime contest of the year Sunday in the 2013-14 regular-season finale and utilized the extra time to take down Wisconsin, 77-73. Four Wildcats finished in double figures with Nia Coffey's 19 leading the way but Christen Inman was close behind, scoring 18 points, including a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line and she had a team-high nine rebounds.
Lauren Douglas chipped in 15 points, including 12 in the second half while Maggie Lyon added 11 points. Alex Cohen came off the bench Sunday and added eight points along with a team-high three blocks. With the game tied 68-68 after regulation, Northwestern outscored Wisconsin 9-5 in the OT to record its 15th win of the season.
Northwestern led by as many as 10 (47-37) in the second but Wisconsin came back to re-gain the lead at 49-48 with 13 minutes left. Wisconsin went ahead by five but the Wildcats came back to tie things up at 61-61 following a Douglas three-point play with 5:03 left. The game continued to remain close as the Badgers scored four-straight to go up 65-61 but an Inman fastbreak bucket cut UW's lead back down to two (66-64) with 2:34 remaining. Deary then tied the game at 66-66 and Inman put the Wildcats on top again, 68-66, after draining two free throws following a steal.
Two Wisconsin free throws tied things up again at 68-68 and each team had a final chance to end the game in regulation. With 0.2 seconds left, UW had a look on an out of bounds play but Michala Johnson's shot just fell short, sending the game to overtime.
Coffey scored back-to-back buckets to start overtime and then Inman recorded her second steal of the game, which led to two free throws for her and put the Wildcats up 74-70. Wisconsin pulled within two late in OT (75-73) but Inman was clutch for the Wildcats down the stretch draining two final free throws to give Northwestern the 77-73 overtime victory. With the win, the Wildcats recorded their first season sweep of Wisconsin since 1994.
LAST TIME VS. OHIO STATE
Northwestern cut a 24-point deficit to five in the closing minutes on Feb. 23 at Value City Arena but could not complete the comeback as Ohio State captured the 71-62 victory. The Wildcats outscored the Buckeyes 41-30 in the second half.
After draining five 3-pointers Feb. 20 at Penn State Maggie Lyon continued her hot shooting from long distance with four triples and led Northwestern with 21 points. Nia Coffey matched a career high with 18 rebounds, which was an opponent record at Value City Arena and added nine points. Lauren Douglas chipped in 13 points off the bench and Christen Inman was in double figures with 10 points.
Freshman guard Christen Inman is one of just three players in program history to have two games with a perfect showing at the free throw line during their NU careers. Inman went a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line in her NU debut against UIC (11/10) and again in the regular-season finale at Wisconsin (3/2). Michele Savage had two 10-for-10 outings during the 1990-91 campaign, Brittany Orban also had two perfect outings at the free throw line during her NU career, one during the 2008-09 season, another in 2010-11.
Inman is just the third freshman in Northwestern history to go at least 10-for-10 from the line. She joins Mary Murphy (10-10, vs. Central Michigan, 3/10/77) and Brittany Orban (13-13, at Ohio State, 2/15/09) on that elite list but separates herself even further as she was the only Wildcat newcomer to go at least 10-for-10 from the line in her debut.
Against Nebraska on Jan. 26 and again at Wisconsin on March 2, Joe McKeown utilized a starting lineup with three freshmen, Nia Coffey, Ashley Deary and Christen Inman, along with two sophomores, Maggie Lyon and Lauren Douglas. Against Wisconsin, those five scored 69 of NU's 77 points (89.6 percent) with junior Alex Cohen adding the additional eight points. Coffey, Lyon, Inman, Douglas and Deary have five of the top six scoring averages on the team and account for 83.5 percent of NU's scoring this year (1,666 of 1,996 points).
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!