Women’s Basketball: Coffey returns for seventh double-double, can’t help Northwestern finish against Iowa

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Source: Tessa Hursh/The Daily Iowan

Freshman Nia Coffey attempts a shot. The forward, in her first full game back from a foot injury, posted a career-high 29 points en route to her seventh double-double this season.

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

Northwestern (14-10, 4-7 Big Ten) gave up its third straight loss against conference rival Iowa (19-6, 7-4) on the road Monday night in Iowa City.

Freshman Nia Coffey and sophomore Lauren Douglas were bright spots in the 90-84 defeat, the Wildcats’ third conference loss in a row, tallying 29 and 25 points apiece.

Coffey had arguably the best game of her freshman season in the first contest she played fully since coming back from injury. Not only did she lead the team with 29 points, but the young star also added a team-high 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season.

Coffey was quick to downplay her performance and look at the team picture.

“I was in attack mode,” she said. “But it doesn’t matter unless we win.”

Coffey led the Cats from the start, putting up 7 of NU’s first 11 points and pushing the Cats to a 14-14 tie with the Hawkeyes.

Nonetheless, Iowa was able to pull ahead thanks to impressive 3-point shooting and led 25-18 with about eight minutes left in the first half.

The Cats kept pushing back into the game and pulled within 2 with a minute and a half left in the half. Iowa added to its lead to end the half with the score at 43-39 in their favor.

The team continued to battle throughout the second half, but the Hawkeyes seemed to have answers for all of its threats.

NU was able to pull within 3 with 14:14 left in the half as the battle continued. Finally, and in characteristic comeback fashion, the Cats seemed to catch fire offensively, going on a 10-0 run to go up 63-62 lead for their first lead since early on in the contest.

Coffey and NU continued to try and match Iowa’s intensity, as the freshman scored her 28th point of the game, a career high to help the Cats pull within five with just over three minutes remaining.

The Cats made a final push with 23.8 seconds allowing them to pull within 4, but the Hawkeyes were able to hold them off for the victory.

“We really needed to step up defensively,” Coffey said. “Offensively we were better.”

Junior point guard Karly Roser played 19 minutes, the most she has since coming off of an injury. The guard chipped in 4 points and a rebound. Since her return, the veteran has been a spark for the Cats after starting each game in her freshman and sophomore seasons.
“It’s going to take time, but I’m more comfortable than I was,” Roser said. “I’ll be back to normal soon. I just have to relearn how to play point guard.”

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