The No. 2 Northwestern Lady Raiders (27-1, 18-0) provided perhaps their most impressive blowout of the year after overpowering No. 4 Sioux Falls (24-4, 14-4) 109-64 Saturday night. After NW scored 67 points the first half, it was all smooth sailing for the win and a fitting result for three seniors on the squad: Becca Hurley, Allison Hulst and Kristen Neth.
The first eight minutes of the contest seemed to suggest a grudge match would ensue between the two nationally respected programs. Up only 17-15, the Raiders put on a run to increase their lead to 28-15, and from that point on, NW put on a clinic for the home court fans. Hurley put in 27 of her 32 points in the first half. NW played incredibly unselfish basketball and ran the fast-break very effectively, which lead to easy lay-ups all around. Excellent ball movement opened up the three-point line for the Raider shooters. They shot 67 percent from the field and a gaudy 79 percent from behind the arc. The score going into the locker room was a ridiculous 67-24.
The second half was more of the same, even though the Raiders took off their press and slowed down their offensive tempo. Every one of the Lady Raiders got at least six minutes of playing time, and the final buzzer ran led to a large ovation for the 109-64 win.
The statistics on the game were staggering. NW shot 57 percent on the game, 68 from downtown. The team dished out 27 assists, ripped down 43 rebounds, and totaled 13 steals. On the other hand, USF shot 34 and 26 percent, respectively. They were also forced into 26 turnovers and could only muster 32 rebounds.
Hurley had a game to remember, collecting 32 points, eight boards, six assists and three assists in only 18 minutes of play. Sophomore Kendra De Jong dropped 17 points of her own and also collected eight boards. Junior Kami Kuhlmann scored 12 points in 13 minutes of action. Sophomore Mel Babcock blocked two shots and Hulst handed out four key assists.