Women’s Basketball: Impressive stretch run leads Wildcats past Eagles

Northwestern center Dannielle Diamant was a key part of the Wildcats’ offense against Boston College. The senior chipped in 14 points and 5 rebounds in the Cats come from behind victory.

Daily file photo by Meghan White

Northwestern center Dannielle Diamant was a key part of the Wildcats’ offense against Boston College. The senior chipped in 14 points and 5 rebounds in the Cats come from behind victory.

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

Northwestern found a flair for the dramatic Wednesday night.

The Wildcats ruffled the Eagles’ feathers down the stretch, scoring 10 unanswered points in the final minutes to overcome Boston College 67-63, improving to 6-0 in the process. NU spent the majority of the game behind Boston College, relying on tough defense and offensive surges from its freshmen additions to come from behind for the victory.

After the Cats went up 9-6 in the first few minutes, Boston College went on a 19-4 offensive run, giving them a 12-point lead — the largest of the game. NU battled back to narrow the Eagles’ lead and were down only 34-32 heading into halftime.

The start of the second half was not promising for the Cats, as the Eagles went on a 7-0 run that extended their lead to 9 points. However, the Cats continued to hang with the gritty Eagles, coming within one point twice throughout the first 15 minutes of the second half.

NU finally took a 60-58 lead with 2:26 left in the game on a 3-point play by sophomore guard Karly Roser, its first lead since early in the game. A basket from freshman forward Maggie Lyon gave the Cats a 4-point lead, and they were able to hold off the Eagles’ attempts at a comeback, thanks to their impressive defense and senior forward Dannielle Diamant’s 5-for-6 free throw shooting down the stretch. Boston College went more than three minutes without a basket down the stretch.

“I think we buckled down on defense and found their shooters,” Lyon said. “We were better as a team as a whole in the end. Everyone contributed, it wasn’t just one person.”

However, Lyon herself was a huge reason for the Cats’ victory, scoring 16 points for NU and four of the Cats’ nine 3-pointers in her first road game in purple. Fellow freshman forward Lauren Douglas was also key for the Cats, netting a team-high 18 points and going 7-for-12 in the field.

“Lauren and Maggie are taking advantage of every opportunity,” coach Joe McKeown said.

McKeown highlighted a huge jumper that Lyon made down the stretch and a key blocked shot by Douglas, not to mention their point totals.

“They really kept composure at the end of the game,” he said.

McKeown also emphasized the impact that all six freshmen are having on the program and how vital they are to the team.

Despite having to play her first road game against a talented ACC team, Lyon impressed in the breakout performance and noted how fun and smooth the transition to the team has been.

“The upperclassmen have been really supportive and helpful,” she said.

While vital, the freshmen duo was not the only reason for the Cats’ victory. Diamant chipped in 14 points for NU including a 9-for-11 performance on the free-throw line. Roser scored points at key times for NU and was huge defensively, leading the team with 4 steals.

McKeown said he was pleased with the Cats’ defensive performance, especially in the final minutes of the game and was impressed with the tenacity and persistence that the Cats showed in the comeback win.

“(We were) on the road against an ACC team,” he said. “We played from behind the whole game, and that says a lot.”

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