Women’s Basketball: Wildcats seek more success in Indiana

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Women’s Basketball: Wildcats seek more success in Indiana

Christen Inman goes for the left hand floater. The sophomore guard was a force against Minnesota on Sunday, netting a game-high 20 points in a 70-49 NU win.

Christen Inman goes for the left hand floater. The sophomore guard was a force against Minnesota on Sunday, netting a game-high 20 points in a 70-49 NU win.

Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Christen Inman goes for the left hand floater. The sophomore guard was a force against Minnesota on Sunday, netting a game-high 20 points in a 70-49 NU win.

Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Christen Inman goes for the left hand floater. The sophomore guard was a force against Minnesota on Sunday, netting a game-high 20 points in a 70-49 NU win.

Khadrice Rollins, Reporter

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Northwestern will hit the road Thursday and head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers following an impressive 21-point beatdown of Minnesota.

The Wildcats (15-6, 5-5 Big Ten) pulled themselves into a tie with Michigan for seventh in the Big Ten thanks to the win on Sunday, and Indiana (13-8, 3-7) propelled itself into 10th in the conference following a 17-point victory over Purdue on Monday.

Despite going just 1-3 in their last four games, the Hoosiers were able to put up more than 70 points in three of those contests.

“They can score,” coach Joe McKeown said. “And they’ve got a lot of different people who can score. They’re pretty balanced and they can score inside-out which challenges your defense.”

Indiana is fourth in the conference in scoring, putting up just less than 75 points per game, and is third in the Big Ten in scoring margin, just behind the Cats, who sit at second.

This sets up an interesting matchup for an NU defense that produced two drastically different performances between its last two games. After giving up 102 points against Iowa last Thursday, the Cats showed off their defensive prowess that catapulted them to their amazing start to this season and held Minnesota to just 49 points on 29.3 percent shooting.

“Our players did a good job of not letting what happened against Iowa carry over to the next day,” McKeown said.

The key for NU against Indiana’s offense will be defending the 3. Despite being only eighth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage at 31.9 percent, Indiana is third in the conference in 3-point field goals made.

On the flip side, Indiana has been great at defending behind the arc this season. The Hoosiers are at the top of the conference in defensive 3-point field goal percentage, which could be problematic for an NU team that relies on its sharp shooting, especially from junior Maggie Lyon.

Lyon has been the Cats’ biggest threat from deep this season shooting 44.9 percent from long range. In this upcoming matchup, though, Lyon is expecting NU to use its speed to dictate its offense.

“Our transition game has been really clicking together against any team,” Lyon said. “We’ll look at some tape of Indiana and see how we can exploit that.”

Exploiting opposing defenses will be a lot easier for the Cats now that junior Lauren Douglas has returned to the lineup from injury. Douglas provides a plethora of skills on the offensive end and helps create mismatches all over the court for NU.

“She brings a different matchup than probably anybody else in our program,” McKeown said. “She can play inside-out, shoots 3s, defensively can change a game and this is a player who had 27 points in a game against DePaul last year.”

While Douglas was gone, sophomore Christen Inman embraced an increased role for the team, averaged 14.7 points during the three-game stretch, and led the team with 20 points in its previous game.

In the midst of conference season, the contest against Indiana is one more game to the finish.

“We just want to take every game one at a time,” Inman said. “And of course there is extra motivation for that team and that game that we lost last year, but we really just want to win every Big Ten game. So we are treating it just like any other.”

Email: khadricerollins2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @KhadriceRollins

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