Indiana Prevails in Big Ten Opener over Northwestern
Dec. 30, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior Whitney Lindsay drove the lane and connected on a layup with three seconds remaining to capture an exciting 71-69 win over Northwestern (11-3, 0-1) to open Big Ten play for Indiana (7-6, 1-0). The Hoosiers have won their Big Ten opening game in each of the last four seasons. Senior All-America candidate Jori Davis led all scores 24 points adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Aulani Sinclair achieved the first double-double of her career with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Hope Elam was the third Hoosier in double-figures netting 13.
Indiana had a hard time finding its range early connecting on just one of its first 15 shot attempts, but despite the shooting woes, the Hoosiers only trailed 11-5. Sinclair sparked the offense hitting a jumper while being fouled, then completing the old fashioned three-point play to cut into the Northwestern lead. Davis followed connecting on a pair of free throws to make it an 11-10 Wildcat lead with 10:37 left in the half.
The game remained close throughout the first half, but it was Northwestern who took momentum into the locker room as Meshia Reed went coast-to-coast and nailed a jumper at the horn to take a 34-30 Wildcat advantage into halftime.
NU used that boost by coming out in the second half to build a 56-45 advantage capped by a 3-point field goal by Beth Marshall with 9:25 remaining in the game, which finished off a 15-5 run by the Wildcats.
Indiana did not quit as freshman Kristiana Stauere responded with a jumper to cut the Northwestern lead back into single-digits. Later, Davis stole the ball and ran away for a layup to make the score 56-49 with 8:33 remaining. Georgie Jones and Sinclair added back-to-back layups to shorten the deficit to 56-53. Jones hit a free throw then Davis connected on a jumper and a pair from the charity stripe to cap off a 13-0 spurt to regain IU's first lead since the 7:22 mark of the first half, with the score reading 58-56.
Northwestern's Brittany Orban silenced the Hoosier run nailing a 3-pointer from the corner to regain the lead for the Wildcats. NU then extended that advantage to 64-59 with 2:19 left in the game. Davis hit two more free throws to cut the lead the three with 2:13 left.
After an NU free throw, Elam hit a jumper and then a huge 3-point bomb with 1:01 on the clock before Davis capped off the 7-0 IU run with a field goal to make it a 68-66 ballgame with 42 seconds remaining.
Northwestern didn't go away quietly and later tied the game at 69 on a Reed jump shot with 14 seconds left. Indiana inbounded the ball and with just seconds to play, Lindsay drove the right side of the lane and nailed a layup with just three seconds remaining on the game clock. Northwestern was not able to get a shot off in time as IU won its fourth-straight Big Ten opener.
"It was an intense game, it's the Big Ten and it's anybody's ballgame," Indiana Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "We know each other very well and Northwestern is a team that is going to be up in the top four in the conference. Today we decided we wanted to play. Jori Davis understands the time and score situation, and having Alisha Goodwin come off the bench the way she did and really ignite our defense really lets me feel like I can call on anybody and they'll be ready."
The Hoosiers return to the road with a matchup against Minnesota on Sunday, Jan. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.
Game Notes - Senior All-America candidate Jori Davis finished with 24 points to tally double-figures for the 12th time this season. Davis also grabbed eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Davis has scored 20 or more points in five games this season.
- With her 24 points tonight, Davis is now 14th on Indiana's all-time career scoring list. The senior currently has 1,253 points in her career as she passed Whitney Thomas' (2005-09) 1,240 point during tonight's game.
- Sophomore Aulani Sinclair finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to obtain her first double-double of her career. Sinclair has now scored in double-figures in seven games this season, including the last four contests.
- Senior Hope Elam returned to the starting lineup tonight and netted 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including three makes from beyond the arc. Elam has tallied double-digits in eight games this year.
- Indiana has now won four-consecutive Big Ten opening games.
- Head Coach Felisha Legette Jack is 4-1 in Big Ten openers during her tenure at Indiana.
- The Hoosiers have defeated Northwestern in 12 of their last 13 meetings. The last time the Wildcats won in Bloomington was exactly 12 years ago on Dec. 30, 1998 in a 68-66 decision over Indiana.
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