Cats Overcome Shaky Start, Win Season Opener

By: Caleigh Ryan and Emily Ehman

While it may not have been the prettiest, the Northwestern women’s basketball team (1-0) got the win on Friday afternoon against the visiting Lady Pirates of Hampton 67-48.

The Cats struggled early in the first quarter, only shooting 25% from the field.  Oceana Hamilton, the Alabama transfer, got the start in the center position and demonstrated her physicality with a block, finishing with 3 in the whole game. Lydia Rhode hit the first three for the ‘Cats of the year, after the team went 0-9 in the exhibition game against Illinois-Springfield.  Abi Wolf was the first off the bench for the Cats, replacing Hamilton.  Lauren Douglas and Jordan Hankins also got early minutes.

The second quarter looked like much of the same from the Cats, as they missed open shots and committed some bad turnovers, but Inman and Deary drained back-to-back threes to pull the purple and white back into the game.  Scrappy basketball was played by both sides, with lots of fouls and contacts.  The Cats were able to turn the game around, and went into the locker room up 27-22

The ‘Cats continued stride through the third quarter, with Rohde knocking down two threes in the third alone.  The defense picked up and Northwestern was able to capitalize, scoring 16 points off turnovers.  After allowing 18 points in the first 10 minutes, Northwestern gave up only 9 points in the third.

The fourth quarter saw much bench action, including time from Allie Tuttle, Hankins, Amber Jamison, and Byrdy Galernik. Off the bench alone, Northwestern had 14 points. The Cats shot for an exceptional 69.2% from the field in the fourth, when compared than their 38.5% in the third and 25.0% in the first.

Hamilton answered many questions about the center position for this Wildcat team.  She finished with six pts, seven rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.  “She’s a great post defender. She’ll finish around the rim, really good screener. She does the little things” says Coach McKeown.

Luckily, Christen Inman proved she can still knock down a nasty mid-range jumper. Coffey looked solid as always with a double-double (14pts and 13rbs). Unfortunately, three-point shooting looks like it could be a struggle for the Cats again this year, with the ‘Cats shooting only 14.3% in the first quarter but ending with 27.8% by the end.

The Cats are back in action on Sunday, November 13 to host the Golden Eagles from Oral Roberts in a 1:00 o’clock matinee matchup.  As always, you can hear that game, and every Northwestern women’s basketball game, right here on WNUR Sports.  Adam Braunstein and Parker Johnson will have the call to continue Sportsathon 2016.


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