Women’s Basketball: With Northwestern in foul trouble, Christen Inman played savior in battle with Loyola


Daily file photo by Sean Su

Christen Inman leaps for a layup. The junior guard stepped up big time Sunday, playing all 40 minutes with Nia Coffey and Ashley Deary both in foul trouble.

Sam Krevlin, Reporter

Women’s Basketball

As the clock hit zero to end the third quarter, junior forward Nia Coffey, junior guard Ashley Deary and freshman forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah all sat on the bench with four fouls each. Watching their team fight to even the game at 55, all three looked on from the sidelines in disarray.

Trying to remain undefeated, the pressure was on No. 12 Northwestern (9-0) against its crosstown rival Loyola (2-6). Despite the foul trouble, NU was able to stay in the game and secure a 81-72 victory, largely thanks to its defense.

Coffey, who had been shooting 4-of-14 before re-entering the game in the fourth quarter, was in foul trouble from the get-go. Despite averaging 19.5 points per game coming into Sunday’s game, Coffey was unable to produce her normal point total, finishing with 13.

The high foul count led to a lack of minutes as she totaled 11 minutes on the bench.

“(Foul trouble) gave people some opportunities, which they have not had and they took advantage of it,” Coach Joe McKeown said. “Not having Maya (Jonas) put those people on the floor in situations where they haven’t been before.”

Because foul trouble sidelined many Wildcats, it was ultimately junior guard Christen Inman who stepped up. Her five steals were critical to NU’s success on defense, as the Cats finished with an impressive 22 forced turnovers. NU was able to preserve the ball on the opposite end, thanks to only nine turnovers.

Not only was Inman impressive on the defensive end, but with Coffey on the bench for so much of the game, Inman was able to put together an impressive 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Eight of her points came from the free throw line, as Inman was an almost perfect 8-of-9 from the line.

The Ramblers were able to hang on for most of the game. Despite their 22 turnovers, Loyola shot higher than 50 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Ramblers outrebounded the Cats by 10 boards, allowing for many second chance opportunities.

However, even with an edge in field goal percentage and total rebounds, Loyala wasn’t able to make up for its turnovers.

“We were able to score with Nia and Ashley on the bench,” McKeown said. “That was important and that gave us some confidence. When those two came back in were were able to get stops.”

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