EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern opened the new Welsh-Ryan Arena in tremendous fashion, topping No. 21 Duke, 84-58, on Sunday afternoon. Four Wildcats finished the contest in double-figures, highlighted by a 21-point effort by sophomore Lindsey Pulliam.
Senior Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah dominated the contest, finishing with a double-double, grabbing 17 rebounds in addition to 11 points.
Jordan Hamilton and Abi Scheid both finished with 18 points and both had four assists.
Northwestern took a 33-25 lead into the half. The ‘Cats held the Blue Devils to only 10 points in the first quarter and led by as many as 13 points with three and a half minutes left in the second quarter.
Northwestern came out strong in the second half, firing up nine-unanswered points and held Duke to two points in the first 2:30 minutes of the third quarter. The ‘Cats jumped to a 20 point lead halfway through the quarter and were up by 15 at the end of the third quarter.
Northwestern scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, increasing its lead to 82-54. Duke reached ten fouls in the fourth quarter, allowing NU to the line to shoot 19 free throws in the quarter. The ‘Cats shot 83 percent from the line during the contest.
Northwestern will welcome UIC to Evanston on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip.
- This game marked the first time the ‘Cats have faced off against the Blue Devils in school history.
- This was the Wildcats’ first regular-season game in the new Welsh-Ryan Arena.
- Four Wildcats — Lindsey Pulliam, Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Jordan Hamilton and Abi Scheid — finished with double-digit points.
- This win marks the Wildcats’ 10th straight victory in a home opener.
- Lindsey Pulliam led the team in points (21) and Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah led the team in rebounds (17).
- Kunaiyi-Akpanah recorded her second double-double in as many competitions.
- Pulliam was 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
- Jordan Hamilton went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
- First-year Jess Sancataldo saw her first minutes as a Wildcat and scored her first two points.
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