SESP Students Nia Coffey, Alex Cohen Help Women’s Basketball Make History

SESP Students Nia Coffey, Alex Cohen Help Women’s Basketball Make History

First NCAA tournament play since 1997

First, SESP undergraduate students Alex Cohen and Nia Coffey helped the Northwestern women’s basketball team sail into the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament — for the first time ever in program history. Now the Wildcats made it into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997. Seeded seventh, Northwestern will play 10th-seeded Arkansas on Friday in Waco, Texas.

Nia Coffey

In the first 20 minutes of the semifinal game against top-seeded University of Maryland, Coffey and Cohen scored 26 of Northwestern's 31 points, and Coffey posted a game-high 23 points in the semifinal game. Together the duo scored 35 of Northwestern’s 63 points during the game. Overall, the record-breaking Wildcats had a 23-8 season.

Nia Coffey
Coffey leads the Wildcats with an average of 15.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. She also owns a team-high record of 12 “double-doubles,” a double-digit total in two of the five categories in a game. She scored in double figures in 21 consecutive games between March 2, 2014, and January 14, 2015. She also ranks seventh in Northwestern program history in blocks, with 103.

As a freshman, Coffey was the first freshman in program history to be named First Team All-Big Ten by coaches and was also a 2014 Second Team All-Big Ten selection by the media. In 2014 she was named to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Freshman All-American Second Team, and in the summer of 2013 she won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Lithuania.

Coffey is a sophomore majoring in learning and organizational change.

Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen
Cohen, who hails from Bayside, Wisconsin, ranks 11th in the Big Ten conference in field goal percentage with a .509 record. She also ranks fourth in Northwestern program history with 160 blocks and is tied for eighth in the Big Ten with 1.8 blocks per game.

Not only was Cohen successful on the court this season, but she also made an impact in the community. Cohen was one of five Division I players named to the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team. She has been president of the Northwestern chapter of Autism Speaks U, and in October she served as the chair of NU Goes Blue, an event that raised $20,000 for autism research and support.

Cohen is a senior majoring in human development and psychological services.

The record-breaking Wildcats advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time in history after defeating Rutgers 62-57 in the quarterfinals on March 6.

By Marilyn Sherman and Northwestern Athletics
Last Modified: 3/17/15