Women’s Basketball: Northwestern pulls away in second half, downs Santa Clara 87-75

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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern pulls away in second half, downs Santa Clara 87-75

Christen Inman takes a layup. The senior guard recorded a season-high 21 points in Saturday's win

Christen Inman takes a layup. The senior guard recorded a season-high 21 points in Saturday's win

Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Christen Inman takes a layup. The senior guard recorded a season-high 21 points in Saturday's win

Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Christen Inman takes a layup. The senior guard recorded a season-high 21 points in Saturday's win

Cole Paxton, Assistant Sports Editor

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Women’s Basketball


Northwestern still found a way to get the job done 2,170 miles from Evanston.

Senior forward Nia Coffey scored 23 points and added 16 rebounds and the Wildcats (10-1) erased a 3-point halftime deficit in Saturday’s 87-75 win at Santa Clara (4-4). The win was NU’s seventh straight.

Senior guard Christen Inman added a season-high 22 points, and fellow senior guard Ashley Deary approached triple-double territory with 18 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

The Cats shot a relatively inefficient 42 percent from the field but were effective from the free throw line, hitting 29-of-38 shots. The Broncos, meanwhile, were just 10-of-18 at the line.

The Cats pulled away late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, scoring 11 straight points to turn a slim 55-54 lead into a comfortable 66-54 advantage. After trading baskets for much of the third quarter, NU found its stroke and held Santa Clara scoreless for more than four minutes.

The Broncos’ foul trouble further helped the Cats. One Santa Clara player fouled out and four others finished just one foul short. NU made much of its run with Broncos reserves on the floor.

The Cats were far more potent offensively in the second half, scoring 51 of their 87 points after the break. NU got a significant boost at the line in the final 20 minutes, hitting 20-of-25 free throws to help pull away midway through the half and secure the victory in the final minutes. Santa Clara fouled incessantly as the final buzzer approached, as the Cats recorded a season-high 38 attempts from the stripe.

Saturday’s victory is hardly a signature win for the Cats but is nevertheless a road triumph against a decent mid-major opponent. The Broncos defeated Big East opponent Marquette in November and played in the WNIT last season. It was NU’s second road win in three non-conference games away from Evanston so far this year and served to extend the Cats’ winning streak, the team’s longest since it began last season 10-0.

NU will face its last major test before Big Ten play on Monday, when it travels to Spokane, Washington, to meet Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are 7-2 this season, won at then-No. 11 Stanford and, like the Cats, have received votes in both the AP and coaches polls.

Email: colepaxton2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ckpaxton

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