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Women's basketball: Northwestern 72, Loyola 67

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UPDATE (12/12/11): NU received three votes in this week's AP poll, up from two the week before. All three votes courtesy, again, of the Daily Herald's Patricia Babcock McGraw, who moved the 'Cats up to 23rd on her ballot.

In their previous 19 meetings, Northwestern had never lost to Loyola. No need to stop a good thing, as the Wildcats came away with a 72-67 road victory over the Ramblers on Saturday to move to 7-1 on the season.

The Wildcats got off to a slow start, looking really disjointed early on, as Loyola flummoxed them with an aggressive man-to-man. NU trailed by as much as 12 in the first half, but got things going late in the half to tie it up, 32-32, at the break. The second half was all Wildcats, as NU quickly took control and never looked back. Some hot three-point shooting kept the Ramblers, coached by former NU men's basketball player Eric Simpson, in the game, especially late, but Dannielle Diamant coolly sank 5 of 6 free throws to ice it.

NU got a nice three-headed attack from Diamant (20 points, 7 rebounds), Kendall Hackney (20 points, 5 rebounds), and Morgan Jones (16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, one of them a beautiful no-look feed to Karly Roser on a fast break). Roser finished with 9 points and 5 assists, but also 6 turnovers. The Wildcats were again without Brittany Orban, who is still recovering from her knee injury. Allison Mocchi made her second start in Orban's place and got 5 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds, a nice all-around effort.

A nice win, especially after a week-long layoff for finals, and the Wildcats next face Morgan State on Wednesday in a noon CT matinee.