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Women’s Basketball Season Ends with Loss to No. 1-Seed Northwestern

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan University women’s basketball fell behind early to No. 4 Northwestern (Iowa) but fought back to make it a one possession game late in the opening half. However, the Red Raiders pulled away during the final 20 minutes in an 83-70 final score in the NAIA DII National Championship Round of 16 game in Sioux City, Iowa.

Northwestern raced out to an 18-7 advantage in the game’s first six minutes and that lead ballooned to a first half high of 16 points at 29-13 with 8:30 left in the second quarter. Indiana Wesleyan chipped away at the deficit the rest of the quarter and closed to within three at 41-38. Northwestern earned a tip-in at the buzzer to take a 44-38 lead into halftime.

After IWU worked hard to draw within striking distance at halftime, Northwestern opened second half play on a 12-4 run to grab a 56-42 lead. The Red Raiders led by as many as 18 in the quarter at 65-47 and the lead remained in double digits the rest of the night. The Northwestern lead grew to 20 points during the fourth quarter.

Margot Woughton – the Crossroads League Freshman of the Year – made a big splash in two games on the national stage. Woughton poured in a career-high with 27 points and she was 8-of-8 from the foul line along with a game-high five assists. She finished the national tournament with a 26.5 point average in two contests.

“I was really proud of our effort. They are so good and explosive at every position. But I was proud of our resolve and in that second quarter we did a good job of disrupting them and not turning it over. But we fought and that was a really physical game.”
“Nicole played very well. It was a physical game but she shot eight free throws. We got her the ball and she got to the line. And when Margot is feeling it there’s not many hotter shooters or better playmakers in the country. What a showing out here these last couple of games. And Katie was such a warrior tonight. She got banged up with all their screens and got a bloody lip. There is no one tougher than Katie Key.”
“We only scored 12 points in the third quarter. That was rough on us and that truly was the difference in the game.”

Indiana Wesleyan ends the season with a 21-13 record and finished third place in the Crossroads League with a 12-6 record. The Wildcats reached the NAIA National Championship for the 16th time in program history, all within the last 17 years.
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