By: Adam Braunstein
Joe McKeown and the Northwestern Wildcats will take on the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon in the ‘Cats second straight non-conference home game to start the season.
After a disappointing 2015-2016 campaign in which the ‘Cats started out strong but stumbled down the stretch, Northwestern is off to another a solid start. As expected, NU had no problems against Illinois Springfield in the exhibition game and easily defeated Hampton in the season opener, allowing just 48 points.
Despite the loss of sharp-shooter and veteran leader Maggie Lyon, Northwestern has the advantage of four of last year’s starters being back. Last year’s stars have shined so far this season, as seniors Ashley Deary and Nia Coffey combined for 26 points against Hampton.
An unfamiliar player who will play a sizeable role in the matchup vs. Oral Roberts Oceana Hamilton, a 6’4” center from Mississauga, Ontario, Oceana Hamilton.
Hamilton played two seasons in Tuscaloosa for the University of Alabama before transferring to NU, and now after sitting out the entire 2015-2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Hamilton is ready to make an impact. The Communication Studies and English major played 27 minutes against Hampton, recording three blocks in that time. Look for Hamilton to use her size advantage against smaller Oral Roberts defenders.
The Golden Eagles are a team with a lot of new pieces this season. Coach Misti Cusssen welcomed seven new players onto the roster this season, including Lakota Beatty who will now play with her sister Ashley Beatty. Lakota transferred to Oral Roberts from Oklahoma State and provides the team with a talented ball-handler. In their first game of the season, the Golden Eagles lost to Iowa by 20 points in Iowa City.
Be sure to tune into WNUR Sports at 1:00 pm Sunday as Adam Braunstein and Parker Johnson will have the call live from Welsh-Ryan Arena as part of WNUR’s Sportsathon, which you can learn more about or donate here