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    Wildcats Welcome Wolfpack for Big Ten/ACC Challenge

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    Big Ten/ACC Challenge

    Dec. 4, 2013

    Game 8: Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Northwestern (RV/--) (6-1) vs. NC State (8-1)
     Date  Thursday, Dec. 5 | 6:30 p.m. CT
     Location  Welsh-RyanArena  | Evanston, Ill.
     Buy Tickets • Bring a canned food item and receive a ticket for just $3 at the door! More info on SAAC Food Drive.
     Live Tweets  @NU_SportsLIVE
     Live Video  BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
    Live Audio (FREE)  WNUR (89.3 FM)
     Live Stats  Gametracker
     Social Media  @nuwbball   |  Facebook

    NU vs. NC State Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    WNUR: Coach McKeown Previews NC State

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The seventh annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge pits Northwestern against North Carolina State Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. and the Wildcats are looking for their third-straight win in the challenge.

    Still need a ticket for Thursday's game? Bring a canned food item for the annual SAAC Canned Food Drive and receive admission for just $3! Click here for more information on the food drive.

    Here are some news and notes to get you ready for Thursday's game.

    In a battle of two Chicago-area women's basketball teams, Northwestern utilized a strong offensive performance to upset No. 25 DePaul, 82-79 Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. A game that featured 13 ties and 12 lead changes, including 10 ties and nine lead changes in the second half, Northwestern broke the final tie (79-79) in the last 30 seconds by scoring the final three points of the game to secure the win. Sunday's game was the fifth annual Autism Awareness Game for the Wildcats and more than 1,200 fans in attendance saw a Northwestern victory.

    DePaul was the second top-25 opponent of the young season for the Wildcats as the Blue Demons entered the game ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls. Four Wildcats scored in double-digits, including a career-high of 26 points (8-11 from the field, 4-4 from 3-point range) for sophomore Lauren Douglas, who came off the bench.

    Freshman Nia Coffey recorded her fourth double-double in seven games with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Christen Inman added 13 points and made some key shots down the stretch while sophomore Maggie Lyon extended her double-digit scoring streak to seven games with 10 points. Freshman point guard Ashley Deary matched her career-high with nine assists.

    Northwestern forward Nia Coffey (Minneapolis, Minn./Hopkins) swept this week's conference awards, taking home Big Ten Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week honors. The 6-1 first-year forward averaged a double-double last week with 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in NU's wins over Lafayette and No. 25 DePaul.

    Coffey had a solid start to the week, tying a career-high with 27 points, while adding 11 rebounds, four blocks, four steals and four assists in NU's 66-64 win over Lafayette. She then followed that up with 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks as the Wildcats upset No. 25 DePaul, 82-79 at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday.

    This is the first Big Ten Player of the Week honor for Coffey and the first for any Wildcat player since Amy Jaeschke won the award on Feb. 2, 2011. She is now a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree after winning the award following the first week of the season.

    After taking down No. 25 DePaul, Northwestern made an appearance in the Associated Press poll that was released on Dec. 2. The Wildcats are receiving five votes in the poll and make their first appearance since also receiving votes in the 2011-12 season.

    Here are some quick hits on what Nia Coffey has done in her short time with the Wildcats:
    • Scored 10+ points in all but one game
    • 4 double-doubles in 7 games
    • 10+ rebounds in 5 of 7 games
    • 20+ points in 3 of 7 games
    • One of three Big Ten players to rank in the top 10 in points and rebounds ... Only freshman to achieve that feat as other two are seniors (Jordan Hooper from Nebraska, Taylor Wurtz from Wisconsin)

    Freshman Ashley Deary nearly recorded her first career double-double Sunday vs. DePaul. She matched her career high with nine assists and also scored nine points in the Wildcat victory. Deary has started every game at point guard this year, filling in for All-Big Ten point guard Karly Roser who is out with an injury. The 5-foot-4 newcomer is averaging 6.7 assists per game, good enough for second in the conference as she is narrowly behind the Big Ten leader, Samantha Logic of Iowa (7.0/apg).

    Additionally, Deary's 6.7 assists per game average is one of the top marks in the country. She is tied for 17th in NCAA Division I and is the only freshman to rank in the top 20.

    This is the seventh year of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and Northwestern has played in a close game almost every year of the event. Last year, Northwestern came back for the 67-63 victory on the road at Boston College and four of the six games featuring NU have been decided by four points or less. Here's a look at NU's results in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge:

    2012: 67-63 win at Boston College
    2011: 76-59 win vs. NC State
    2010: 67-63 loss at Georgia Tech
    2009: 69-68 loss vs. Clemson
    2008: 78-75 (OT) loss at Clemson
    2007: 60-45 loss at Wake Forest

    2013-14 Record: 8-1
    2012-13 Record: 17-17; WNIT Second Round
    All-Time Series Record: Series tied, 1-1; NU won last meeting, 76-59 at Welsh-Ryan Arena during 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge
    Notable: NC State is out to its best start since the 2007-08 season after defeating UCLA 67-49 in the Gulf Coast Showcase to improve to 8-1 on the year. The Wolfpack are under the direction of first-year head coach Wes Moore. Two Wolfpack players are averaging double-figures this year as Kody Burke averages a team-high 13.4 ppg while Markeisha Gatling adds 12.1 ppg. NC State's lone loss of the year came against Wright State (99-90) at the Golf Coast Showcase.


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