Women’s Basketball: Diamant provides the difference in Northwestern’s win over Indiana

Steven Montero

If Dannielle Diamant pushed a little harder, she could have cost Northwestern its victory against Indiana on Sunday.

With the Hoosiers within three points and 15 seconds on the clock, the junior forward rushed into Indiana’s Sasha Chaplin. The referee called it a foul on Chaplin and Diamant went to the line to ice the game for the Wildcats, while Chaplin fouled out.

Junior forward Kendall Hackney said the maneuver could have been called a charge but that it was a good call nonetheless.

“I was afraid for a split second,” Hackney said. “I was really glad that they called the block because that can go honestly either way, especially from the referee’s perspective.”

Indiana would have had a chance to tie the game had the charge been called, but Diamant said she wasn’t really thinking it would be. When the referee signaled that it was a blocking foul, she said the thought “Perfect” went through her head.

Diamant gave NU 22 points and 11 rebounds to boast her fourth double-double of the season. Nine points came off free throws. She said in general free throws can win or lose games.

“When Dannielle knocks them out at the end of the game, that’s huge for us,” Hackney said. “We need that to keep going.”

Coach Joe McKeown said he was proud of Diamant’s play Sunday despite only being able to play her for seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.

Diamant’s presence was essential to NU’s victory over Indiana. After sitting out much of the first half, she came out of the locker room and led the Cats with 15 points and four rebounds on both the defensive and offensive sides of the court.

She averages 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

“I feed off Danielle,” Hackney said. “Where she kills it inside and I’m just like ‘All right cool, great. That’s what we need.'”

Hackney said Diamant knows when to pass the ball if the opponent’s defense collapses on her and Diamant is always looking for teammates. Diamant said sharing the ball was important against the Hoosiers and the Cats talked about it before the game.

“It’s just great to be able to play with her because I’ve played with her for three years,” Hackney said. “I know her. It’s just a special bond. I’m comfortable with her on the floor. It’s nice to have her to pick us up on the inside and just have everyone else fill in their roles around that, because we’ve got to work the ball inside and out and that’s what we’ve got to keep doing all season.”

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