Kokomo coach Jason Snyder noted, “We had 15 turnovers in the first half and shot 23 percent from the field, and that’s what’s going to happen [in a first game]. In the second half, I thought you saw what you’ll see a little bit more of as the year goes on. We shot 40 percent from the field in the second half and 55 percent from the 3-point line.”
Northwestern followed a similar pattern, hitting just 4 of 20 shots from the floor in the first half and 11 of 27 in the second.
Daanen scored a pair of hoops early in the third period around a bucket by Kokomo’s Allie Lowe to cut the gap to 24-19, but Kokomo responded with a 12-2 run to reach its largest lead of the night at 36-21 midway through the period. A pair of treys by Love fueled the run, and Jones added four points on a basket and a pair from the charity stripe.
But the Tigers refused to fold and narrowed the margin to 41-30 at the end of three periods as Treadway scored inside twice, junior Sydney Wells hit a triple, and Daanen added a basket on a steal.
But the Tigers could never get closer than nine points in the fourth and the Kats held on for the win.
Northwestern coach Kathie Layden was pleased with her team’s effort.
“We battled, I thought, the entire game,” she said. “There were some points in the game where I felt like Kokomo started to go on a run, but I felt like the girls never quit. Obviously, the first game, for anybody, you’re going to come out and be a little hesitant at times. We didn’t take care of the ball well at all [with] 20 turnovers in the first half. But we’re still learning positions right now.”