Indiana Rallies, but Falls Short to Northwestern, 69-61
Jan. 8, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana faced a 17-point deficit in the second half and rallied to get within three points on two separate occasions late in the game, but Northwestern held on to top IU, 69-61, at Assembly Hall on Sunday. Aulani Sinclair led the Hoosiers with 17 points as Jasmine McGhee poured in 14 points and eight rebounds.
Midway through the first half, IU found itself in a 19-11 hole with 12:55 on the clock. McGhee hit a jumper and Sinclair followed on the next possession with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three points. Milika Taufa then grabbed an offensive board and hit the put back layup for Indiana's seventh-consecutive point and NU leading just one, 19-18, with 11:30 to go.
After a Wildcat field goal, Taufa hit another shot in the paint to put the Hoosiers within one again. Northwestern then hit a 3-point field goal before Sinclair nailed a jumper. Candyce Ussery then found an open McGhee for a jump shot to cap a 13-5 Indiana run with the game tied at 24-24 with 7:39 left in the half.
Northwestern fired back with a 14-2 run over the next 5:34 to take a 12-point advantage, 38-26, after a pair of Kendall Hackney free throws with 2:05 remaining until the half. IU scored the final six points of the half with two Quaneisha McCurty free throws and back-to-back field goals from McGhee to trail by just six at the break, 38-32.
Just as IU finished the first frame with a run, the Wildcats opened the second half with one of their own, scoring the first eight points of the second stanza. Danilsa Andujar stopped the NU push with a lay in at the 15:35 mark, as IU trailed, 46-34.
Indiana later trailed by 17 points, 59-42, after a field goal from NU's Dannielle Diamant with 9:05 on the clock. But the Hoosiers put together eight-consecutive points, capped by back-to-back steals and runaway layups by Candyce Ussery. Indiana was within nine points, 59-50.
The Wildcats increased their lead up to 12 before McGhee made a jump shot with 5:02 to go. Sinclair then hit a pair from the charity stripe to get within single-digits of Northwestern once again. McGhee then found Sinclair coming off a screen on the right wing for a 3-point bomb with 3:39 to play to pull the Hoosiers within five, 62-57, with just 3:39 to go.
Ussery attacked the paint on a later IU possession and was fouled. She connected on both free throw attempts to make it a 62-59 Northwestern lead. Ussery's two foul shots with 1:13 remaining completed a 17-3 Indiana run over a 7:52 span to put the Hoosiers right back into the ballgame.
Northwestern's Diamant put the Wildcats back on track with a field goal to extend the lead to five. After an empty Hoosier possession and an NU missed free throw attempt, McGhee grabbed the board and went coast-to-coast to hit a running layup with 32 seconds on the clock to get Indiana within three, 64-61.
Indiana was forced to foul down the stretch, as the Wildcats hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final seconds to take the road victory.
Sinclair hit on 3-of-7 3-point field goal attempts, marking the third time this season that Sinclair has connected on three or more 3-pointers in a game. McGhee dished for a career-high four assists. Danilsa Andujar finished with seven points and eight boards. The difference in the game was turnovers as IU committed 20 mistakes allowing Northwestern to score 25 points off of those miscues.
The Hoosiers will now travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Thursday, Jan. 12. That game will tip at 7 p.m. ET from the Breslin Center.
Jasmine McGhee finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds, marking the ninth time she has tallied double-figure points this season. McGhee also tallied a career-high four assists to lead the team.
Danilsa Andujar had a good all-around game with seven points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal. Andujar has brought in eight or more boards in five games this year.
Milika Taufa played a career-high 21 minutes in the game and scored four points and had six rebounds. She also tied her career-high with two blocked shots and added a steal.
The Indiana bench accounted for 33 of Indiana's 61 points in the game, as Northwestern's bench production was two points. The IU reserves accounted for 54.1 percent of the team point total, marking the second time this year that the bench has scored over 50 percent of the team's points. Jasmine McGhee led the bench scorers with 14 points.
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