Dec. 12, 2013
NU vs. Oral Roberts Game Notes
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After eight days off of competition for finals week, the Wildcats are back in action, taking on two opponents in less than 48 hours. The busy stretch begins Saturday as NU makes just its second road trip of the year, traveling down Ridge Ave. to take on Loyola at the Gentile Arena. Tip is set for 2 p.m. Then, on Monday, it's Northwestern's annual Field Trip Day where thousands of area elementary school children visit Welsh-Ryan Arena to cheer on the 'Cats. Monday's game begins at 11 a.m. and features first-time opponent Oral Roberts.
Northwestern has four players on this year's roster that played high school basketball in the state of Illinois while Loyola's roster has nine players who hail from Illinois. NU senior guard Meghan McKeown and Loyola junior guard Katie Faught played together in high school at Loyola Academy.
Freshman Ashley Deary has started every game at point guard for the Wildcats this season, filling in for All-Big Ten guard Karly Roser who has been out with an injury. Deary has picked up right where Roser left off, averaging 6.5 assists per game, which is good enough to rank 17th in NCAA Division I and makes her the only freshman to rank in the top 25 in the country in assists. She is second in the Big Ten, behind leader Samantha Logic of Iowa (6.7 apg). Deary nearly recorded her first career double-double in NU's win over No. 25 DePaul. She matched her career high with nine assists and also scored nine points in the Wildcat victory.
SWATTING THEIR WAY INTO THE RECORD BOOK
Sophomore Lauren Douglas and junior Alex Cohen are very close to entering the NU record book for career blocks. Douglas has 60 career blocks while Cohen sits at 57. Mya Whitmore is in 10th all-time with 61 blocks (1988-91) while ninth-place Tracie Diemer has 67 (1982-83). Amy Jaeschke is the NU record holder for career blocks with 357 (2007-11).
The Wildcats continue to lead the conference in blocks, averaging 6.9 blocks per game and that figure ranks fourth in the country. Here's a look at the top five in NCAA Division I for blocks:
1. UConn - 8.8 bpg
2. Alabama State - 7.2 bpg
3. Montana - 7.0 bpg
4. Northwestern - 6.9 bpg (55 blocks in 8 games)
5. Oregon State - 6.9 bpg (48 blocks in 7 games)
While Douglas and Cohen are inching their way into the record book, freshman forward Nia Coffey currently leads the team, averaging 2.63 blocks per game. That figure ranks 25th in the country and third in the Big Ten. Cohen is fourth in the conference (1.8 bpg) while Douglas is 10th (1.1 bpg).
-Stats and rankings as of Dec. 9
2013-14 Record: 2-7
All-Time Series Record: Loyola is under the direction of first-year head coach Sheryl Swoopes, who had an illustrious playing career as a four-time WNBA champion, NCAA champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist. Her Ramblers are led by Taylor Johnson who is averaging a team-high 18.4 points per game. Troy Hambric is the team's leading rebounder at 6.9 boards per game, to go along with 13.7 points per game.
SCOUTING ORAL ROBERTS
2013-14 Record: 1-6
2012-13 Record:18-13, Southland Conference Regular Season & Tournament Champions, 2013 NCAA Tournament First Round
All-Time Series Record: First Meeting
Notable: Oral Roberts had a strong showing a year ago, winning its conference and qualifying for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Golden Eagles lost three starters and seven letterwinners off of last year's team, but return, redshirt senior center Sarah Shelton, who was a preseason selection for the All-Southland Conference Second Team. She currently leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game and contributes 6.6 points per game. Christian Key, a 5-10 senior guard, leads the team averaging 10.6 points per game.
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