It was a tale of two halves in a Top 25 clash between No. 21 IU Northwest and No. 23 Madonna on Saturday in the RedHawks’ home opener at the Savannah Center. With IU Northwest star guard Grayce Roach saddled with three early fouls and IU Northwest struggling to score, Madonna quickly erased the RedHawk 9-2 run to begin the game and used a sharp transition game to open up as 12 point second quarter lead. The RedHawks rode the strong post play of sophomore forward Kelsey Gushrowski and rallied late in the half to cut the Madonna lead to just six at the break.
With Roach back on the floor RedHawks started strong in the second half scoring on the first possession and the tallying the first seven points of the half to regain the lead at 32-31. From that moment on it was all RedHawks as IU Northwest would outscore the Crusaders 26-12 in the third quarter and open up a twenty-point advantage en route to a decisive 74-58 victory.
- Roach scored 19 of her game high 24 points in the second half and was a blistering 9-12 shooting from the floor including 4-6 from long distance in just 23 minutes.
- Nicki Monahan also caught fire also finishing with 24 points to go along with 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals in 35 minutes.
- Sophomore Kelsey Gushrowski had a breakout performance as she netted 17 points with 7 rebounds and a block.
- “Madonna has elite talent and three All-Americans in their starting lineup. To see us respond and perform the way we did in the third quarter after making halftime adjustments and against that caliber of talent truly shows how special Nicki (Monahan) and Grayce (Roach) are. Gushrowski came up a huge today for us and outplayed the All-American, Sabol. Kelsey (Gushrowski) is really coming into her own and playing with a lot of confidence,” said IU Northwest Head Coach, Ryan Shelton.
- IU Northwest put up a whopping 48 second half points in the final twenty minutes after struggling to just 26 first half points. For the game the RedHawks shot 39% from the floor and were 8-24 from long distance (.333).
- IU Northwest forced 19 Madonna turnovers.
- Gushrowski is now 11-15 shooting from the floor through the first two games of the season.
- The game vs Madonna featured five, pre-season All-American candidates in IU Northwest’s Monahan and Roach and Madonna’s Becca Sabol, Lindsey Hernden and Michele Hayes.
- Lindsey Hernden led Madonna with 15 points, however was just 4-13.
- With the win, the RedHawks improved to 2-0 on the season and have won 39 of their last 44 home games at the Savannah Center dating back to the 2013-14 season.
- Next up, the RedHawks (2-0) will welcome rival IU South Bend (2-0) in Wednesday Nov. 2 in matchup of undefeated teams. The tip is set for 7 p.m. CT.