The Northwestern women’s basketball team defeated Indiana Saturday 80-67 in its first game since the passing of sophomore guard Jordan Hankins.
Both teams wore uniform patches to honor Hankins, and sophomore guard Amber Jamison wore Hankins’s number five jersey during the game.
In an emotional game, Jamison scored a career-high 13 points, five more than her previous career-best. In the game’s waning moments, it was Jamison who continued to knock down free throws to put the game out of the Hoosiers’ reach.
Coach Joe McKeown said that Jamison asked to wear Hankins’s number on the court, and that she drove the decision by the team and coaching staff to wear Hankins’s name and number on the back of their warmups. “I think our players really felt like they needed to [play this game] for Jordan,” McKeown said.
Many members of the Northwestern community were at Welsh-Ryan Arena to support the team, including the entire men’s basketball team, head football coach Pat Fitzgerald and one of the largest student turnouts of the season.
In the game, the Wildcats jumped out to an 11 point lead after the first quarter. Ashley Deary and the Northwestern offense were firing on all cylinders early. Deary had nine points and three assists in the quarter, and she would finish with 18 points, eight assists and two steals as well.
However, the Hoosiers hung in the game. They held Northwestern to just nine points in the second quarter and reduced the halftime deficit to just five.
Indiana fought all the way back to tie the game at 42 with six minutes left in the third quarter, but that’s when the ‘Cats turned the jets back on. Northwestern closed the third quarter on a 15-4 run, and the team never looked back.
“Throughout the whole game we wanted to embody [Hankins’s] spirit and her aggressiveness and her confidence and just play with her swagger, because that’s what she would have done,” senior captain Ashley Deary said.
Nia Coffey notched her 50th career double-double in the game. It was a fantastic all-around performance by Coffey, who had 14 points and 14 boards to go along with six assists, two blocks and one steal.
Northwestern’s senior big three of Coffey, Deary and Inman combined to score 45 points on 19-40 shooting in one of their most collectively efficient performances of the season thus far. Abi Scheid and Lauren Douglas also provided efficient performances, scoring a combined 20 points on 53 percent shooting.
With the win, Northwestern moves to 14-4 (3-2 B1G) overall and 11-1 in Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats’ next test comes at home against Michigan State on January 17th.In a previous version of this article, Abi Scheid's name was misspelled. This correction was made at 2:54 pm on Jan. 15.