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Northwestern women's basketball shuts down Wisconsin in 68-46 victory

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Joe McKeown got his 100th victory as the Wildcats' head coach as NU eased past Wisconsin.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern women's basketball cruised to 2-0 in conference play Saturday with a 68-46 victory over Wisconsin. It was Joe McKeown's 100th as NU head coach.

On Frozen Day at Welsh-Ryan, celebrating Disney's feature film, the Badgers' shooting went bitterly cold. The Wildcats held Wisconsin to 15-58, just 25.9 percent, from the field and 5-23 from three-point range. The Badgers turned the ball over 24 times while struggling to attack NU's blizzard defense, and Ashley Deary, who is second in the nation in steals, got five takeaways in the victory.

The game started off fast and sloppy. It was nearly non-stop fast break for the first 10 minutes. Wisconsin frequently got up-and-down the floor, but nothing seemed to fall for the Badgers. With about five minutes left before halftime, the Badgers had more than twice as many turnovers (13) as points (6).

Northwestern took a 30-11 lead into the break and maintained a 20-point margin for the majority of the second half. After extending their lead, Joe McKeown slowed it down and got almost every Wildcat some playing time.

It wasn't Northwestern's best day offensively, shooting just 4-16 from deep, but NU got the job done. Five different Wildcats scored in double figures. Nia Coffey and Christen Inman each dropped 12 points, and Coffey had 13 rebounds, good for another double-double.

Lauren Douglas was NU's leading scorer with 13 points on 6-9 shooting. The junior has been very efficient from the field this season, making 45.6 percent of her shots and 36.8 percent of her threes. Karly Roser was just as efficient Saturday, knocking down 3 of 4 field goals and 5 of 6 from the free throw line for 11 total points.

In the blow out, Northwestern still looked like it needs improvement on the boards. Wisconsin out-rebounded NU 48-38 and had 17 offensive boards. Alex Cohen and Maggie Lyon each snagged six boards, but Douglas only had two, and the Badgers didn't have much of a size advantage, if any at all.

The Wildcats didn't own the glass, but the biggest difference in the game was how NU kept care of the basketball. They won the turnover battle 24-12 and turned mistakes into points, something they'll need to continue to stay in the nation's top 25.

The Wildcats head to Columbus Sunday, where a win over Ohio State would bring McKeown's record at NU to .500.