Remember the name: Ashley Deary.
Northwestern’s junior point guard scored a career-high 25 points, dished out 12 assists and recorded her third career double-double en route to an 86-62 NU (3-0) victory over Western Michigan (2-2).
Deary was dominant in the first half, recording 19 points (7-9 FG, 3-4 from three point range) and five assists before she was subbed out with a minute left in the half. At the 5:39 mark in the second quarter, the Wildcat lead was just 25-24 – before Deary found Christen Johnson for an easy layup, drilled a pull up jumper on the next possession, and then knocked down a three to put the ‘Cats up 32-24.
“[Deary] is one of the best point guards in college basketball, and I’m saying that objectively after over 30 years in our game,” Head Coach Joe McKeown said. “She is capable of elevating a team to the next level.”
“In my opinion, she’s the best defender in the country,” senior Maggie Lyon said. “I would definitely not want to play against her.”
Once Deary took over the ‘Cats never looked back, using a 15-5 run to surge ahead 40-29 at half. From there, NU would only extend the lead, outscoring Western Michigan 46-33 the rest of the way.
“We just had to get going, whether that was me hitting shots or me getting our teammates open,” Deary said.
Nia Coffey recorded 20 points and nine rebounds, Christen Inman totaled 17 points and Maggie Lyon filled up the stat sheet, notching 12 points, six assists and five steals.
While it may have taken Northwestern a little bit longer to get going than it would have liked today, the Wildcats have to be happy with their impressive start to the season. With the emergence of Deary, there is a lot to be excited about as they continue their campaign.
“[Deary] just does everything,” McKeown said. “She does whatever she needs to do for us to win. She will get the ball to the right people at the right time and she will take out the other team’s best player, too.”
The ‘Cats next action takes place in Austin, Texas, when they square off against Eastern Washington in the Lone Star Showcase on Nov. 26.
- NU scored 40 points off Western Michigan’s 24 turnovers. The Wildcats had 14 steals and three blocks in a tenacious defensive effort.
- Since the ‘Cats led 25-24 with 5:39 to play in the second quarter, they went on a 61-38 run to close out the game.
- Maggie Lyon was 0-3 from three-point range, making her 2-16 from three on the year. The senior ranks third in Northwestern history with 203 three-point field goals, but has gotten off to a slow start this year.