Thanks to a game-opening 20-0 run and general first half dominance, Northwestern (8-3) cruised to a 65-43 win over Wichita State (6-5) in their opening Duel in the Desert clash.
The Wildcats followed up their early run with another 18-2 spurt shortly afterwards, eventually settling into a comfortable 48-15 halftime lead. With a game tomorrow, Joe McKeown rested his starters for the majority of the second half, allowing the Shockers to keep the final respectable.
Abi Scheid’s 13 led Northwestern, who dressed their full team for the first time all year. Pallas Kunaiyi-Akapnah added nine points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, and Veronica Burton, in just her third game back from injury, chipped in with nine points and four boards. Lindsey Pulliam had 10 for her ninth straight game of double-figure scoring.
The Wildcats put their foot on the gas early and never let up, coming out in a full-court press and eventually forcing the Shockers to commit 23 turnovers while shooting just 28 percent from the field. Though NU went cold during the second half, their stifling defense allowed them to maintain a comfortable advantage.
Well-rested Northwestern will face a tougher opponent on Thursday in 8-1 Kansas. Tune in to 89.3 FM (or go to wnursports.com for the online link) to listen as the Wildcats try to end non-conference play with a win. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM Central.