Wildcats Top Western Kentucky

Northwestern returned home to Welsh-Ryan Arena, and topped the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by a score of 71-57. The Wildcats were led by a mixture of freshmen newcomers and veteran leadership.

Returning to their home court for the first time this season, the Northwestern women's basketball team put forward a strong, 71-57 performance against Western Kentucky.

NU put up a ten-point in the game's opening five minutes, a lead which they did not give up the entire game. Despite shooting trouble in the first half, the Wildcats shot 53.6 percent from the field in the second half to make 39.7 percent overall.

"To be at home, and to be able to control most of the second half gives us something to do," NU head coach Joe McKeown said.

Four players for NU scored in double digits and Junior forward Kendall Hackney led the Wildcats with 17 points. Freshman point guard Karly Roser, playing in her first game at home for NU, put up a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.

"The biggest thing [at point guard] is decisions making and I thought she made a lot of good decisions," McKeown said. "Our team has done a great job of blending in our freshmen."

NU's other freshman starter, Morgan Jones, had eight points and five assists at guard.

"It's awesome to have freshman come in, especially Karly and Morgan, and step up and play hard for us and do the things that they did for us in the game today," Hackney said.

Turnovers played an important role in the Wildcats' victory as Western Kentucky had 21 throughout the game, which McKeown attributed to a size advantage. NU had turnover problems of their own and gave up the ball 13 times.

McKeown also said he wished for the team to draw more fouls. He said he hopes for the team to get 20 or more points off of penalties each game, but the ‘Cats only had seven points from the line.

From here, the ‘Cats look to another home game on Thursday night against Illinois State.

"Illinois State is really good coming off a twenty-plus win season," McKeown said. "It's more of a tournament atmosphere to turn around and have to play Tuesday and Thursday, so it will be a good challenge for us."

The biggest test of the season comes afterwards, when the ‘Cats take on LSU, again at home, next Tuesday. Tipoff for both upcoming games will be 7:00 CT.

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