The Northwestern women’s basketball team defeated the outsized and outmatched UW-Platteville team 85-30 in their first exhibition game of the season. The game stayed close only during warm-ups as the ‘Cats went on a 22-0 run in the first eight minutes. Junior forward Brittany Orban led the Cats with a 22 point performance while sophomore Kendall Hackney put up 13 points.
“This game was about getting the kinks out,” Orban said. “We are finally seeing how our offensive and defensive sets are working against another team.”
Head coach Joe McKeown was pleased with this expected blowout, but he says that there are many things the team needs to improve on.
“Our shooting was not so good today and I think it’s a matter of getting in the flow of playing together,” McKeown said.
The team cumulatively had woes behind the three-point line, completing only one shot out of 13 attempts. However, their 52 percent field goal rate all but made up for the lack of three-point shooting.
Defensively, the ‘Cats looked strong, holding the Pioneers to only 18 points at half. Last year’s Big Ten leading blocker senior Amy Jaeschke denied four shots while the team stole the ball 21 times.
Looking forward, both Orban and Coach McKeown expressed concern defensively.
“We need to work on not gambling so much on D and stop being so antsy,” Orban said.
Taking the court for the first time in their college careers, freshmen Mylan Woods and Meghan McKeown each played nearly half the game and put up a combined 11 points. Coach McKeown was pleased with the performance of his young players saying they “brought to the table” what they needed to.
The ‘Cats have just less than two weeks to prepare for their season opener against Dartmouth, and Coach McKeown believes they will be ready if they can improve their long-range shooting and defensive game.
“It was nice to play against a different team today,” McKeown said. “Today was just about getting the jitters out.”