The Northwestern women’s basketball team started their season off strong on Friday, dominating Chicago State 63-36 at the Jones Convocation Center. The Wildcats will try to improve to 2-0 as they host Oakland in their home opener on Thursday at Beardsley Gymnasium.
Oakland comes into this game with a 1-1 record after a 95-63 loss at Michigan State on Monday. Last season, the Golden Grizzlies went 18-12, and 12-6 in Horizon League play. Here are four key numbers to watch in advance of Thursday’s game:
Oakland’s five leading scorers this year are upperclassmen (4 seniors and 1 junior), so they have a ton of experience. This presents a drastic contrast to Northwestern, which started just one senior (Lydia Rohde) in their opener against Chicago State. Coach Jeff Tungate reached the 12-win threshold in Horizon League play for the first time in school history, and with lots of returning talent the Golden Grizzlies might give perennial Horizon League champion Green Bay a run for their money.
NU has shot 19.2 percent from beyond the arc in the exhibition and season opener, including 0 threes on 8 attempts against Chicago State. The Wildcats shot 32.5 percent from three-point range last year, and return their top three shooters: Amber Jamison, Abi Scheid and Lydia Rohde all shot over 36 percent from deep last year. Scheid and Rohde will most likely see their shooting nubmers line up with their career averages as the season goes on, and once Jamison gets back in the fold the team’s shooting might even be a strength.