Hackney Keeps NU Rolling

Northwestern advanced its record to 8-1 with a 87-74 win over the Morgan State Lady Bears on "Field Trip Day" at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats now prepare to leave the friendly confines of their home arena as they travel to Las Vegas for three challenging games.

Led by Kendall Hackney's career-high of 29 points, Northwestern earned win number eight, beating Morgan State by a score of 87-74.

Northwestern opened up a 22 point lead in the second half, but Morgan State continued to cut into the deficit, bringing the margin down to 11 in the final minutes. However, it was too little, too late.

The Wildcats were able to hold off the Lady Bears' late comeback attempt, and close out another victory.

"Give Morgan State credit, they made tough shots, hit threes, attacked the basket," said NU head coach Joe McKeown. "I thought we did a good job in the second half of controlling the half."

NU found its rhythm early in the game, opening the game on a 12-2 run, led by Hackney and Morgan Jones. The Wildcats continued to roll, later opening at 26-11 lead in the first half. However, Morgan State responded, and cut the Wildcats' lead to eight points at the halftime break.

The Wildcats started strong, again, in the second half, opening up on a 26-12 run, and taking command of the game. Hackney and Jones combined for 23 of the Wildcats' 42 second-half points, while NU shot 54.3 percent from the field.

As a team, the Wildcats posted a season-best 51.4 percent from the field and 32 team assists, while out-rebounding the Lady Bears 51-37.

The game was played in front of a raucous crowd on Northwestern's annual "Field Trip Day." More than 4,000 children packed into Welsh-Ryan Arena, forming an enthusiastic cheering section.

Northwestern now turns its attention to the "Duel in the Desert" in Las Vegas, where the Wildcats will face UNLV on Sunday night, followed by Kansas State on Monday and North Dakota State on Tuesday.

"Playing three games in three nights against really good competition, it will give people a chance to step up and go from there," said McKeown.

Tipoff for Sunday's game with UNLV is set for 7 p.m.

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