In a warm-up before a big game against Kansas State tomorrow, NU thoroughly dismantled UNLV, hosts of the BTI Invitational, 79-49. The Wildcats, now 9-1, put on a clinic, shooting 51.1% overall, 11-for-21 from three, and a near-perfect 20-for-21 from the FT line. As great as NU was, UNLV, which came in 8-2, was awful, making just 21.4% of its shots, thanks to an active Wildcat defense that forced 15 turnovers in the first half. The Wildcats took control of the game with a 19-0 run in the first half and never let the Runnin' Rebels get closer than 10 points after that.
Kendall Hackney had a game-high 22 points, and Morgan Jones, who really seems to be rounding into form, had 18 points and 7 assists. Dannielle Diamant, the granddaughter of legendary former UNLV men's basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, had 11 points and 6 rebounds before her hometown fans. Freshman Alex Cohen, who got plenty of playing time in the blowout, scored a career high 11 points, with 4 blocks. About the only Wildcat who didn't have a good day was Karly Roser, who spent much of the game in foul trouble, and didn't score until garbage time, while turning the ball over 5 times. She did have 6 assists, though.
So up next is a clash of purple Wildcats, with NU taking on KSU. KSU is not ranked in either poll, but has an RPI of 26, according to RealTimeRPI.com. KSU is 6-2, having beaten Hofstra (RPI 13) and BYU (RPI 31). They also took Purdue (RPI 21) to OT. A win would be a real nice resume boost, and on paper, our Wildcats should be able to pull it off. NU will have the size advantage, though forward Jalana Childs looks like she'll be a handful for Hackney, Diamant and co. This will be pretty much the last big test for NU before conference play starts, so a win here would be really nice.