It was the freshmen guards that led the Wildcats against a physical opponent. Morgan Jones put up a career-high 27 points and 11 rebounds and Karly Roser had 10 points and 10 assists in the girls' simultaneous double-doubles.
"The past couple games, personally, I've been struggling with my shot," Jones said to the media. "It was just a matter of continuing to play it will fall."
While the freshman put up big numbers, senior center Brittan Orban's game was cut short. She went down trying to draw a foul on a layup and hurt her knee. She came back out on the court in the second half with her knee wrapped up and coaches would not comment about her future play.
Orban's injury meant more playing time for others and NU saw its most production from non-starters all season. They combined for 11 points and 11 rebounds.
"Our bench tonight really stepped up, even though we saw some turnovers," NU head coach Joe McKeown said. "When you're coming in and you're going to play10 or 12 minutes, it gets magnified a little bit."
Turnovers were a consistent problem for Northwestern. The team gave up the ball 29 times to NC State, the most in any game this season. NC State did, however, turn the ball over 24 times, as well.
McKeown said the team is going to try to fix up some errors, especially their turnovers before they head to Missouri on Saturday to play the Tigers.
"NC State made us play a faster pace than we probably wanted to," McKeown said. "We've just got to do a better job with that."
This proved to be a critical game following the Wildcats' first loss to a very strong DePaul team.
"We just wanted to come out and prove that that loss could have been a win potentially," Roster said.
The Wildcats have been on the losing side of the turnover battle their last three games and that is an area McKeown and the team knows they need to improve to be successful down the road from here.
"We're not going to win a lot of games in February if we turn the ball over that much," McKeown said. "Or in March, and that's our goal."
NU tips off against Missouri on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.