NU’s skid grows to 3 (Women’s basketball)

Nina Mandell

After shooting 25 percent from the floor, the Northwestern women’s basketball team went into halftime thinking it couldn’t get any worse.

But as the Wildcats watched Iowa go on a 12-0 run in the second half, they said they knew it hadn’t gotten any better.

Despite increasing its shooting percentage to 42 in the second half, NU couldn’t avoid its third straight loss Thursday night, falling to Iowa 60-40.

“It’s just frustrating because we weren’t ready to play,” NU coach Beth Combs said. “We had an opportunity to make a great game out of it … but we weren’t there.”

The game started with NU’s lowest scoring half of the season. NU was still in single digits with six minutes left in the first half when freshman Sara Stutz made a jumper to start an 8-2 run. Suzanne Morrison and Ifeoma Okonkwo added layups before Stutz finished the half with a jumper at the buzzer.

“We just figured that we couldn’t come out and shoot any worse,” Kwasinski said. “We said despite how bad we were playing, we were only down by 11. We just talked about the game and how we had to come out strong.”

But if anyone heard the Cats’ halftime message for an energetic second half, it was Iowa. As the Cats committed three fouls and two turnovers to start the half, Iowa built its lead to 19. Iowa eventually led by as much as 31.

With frustration on her face, Stutz made the last six of her team-high 10 points to help NU cut the lead down to 20 by end the game.

“I think we have times when we can get some energy but it always comes at the wrong time,” Kwasinski said. “If it’s the last minutes of the game, it’s too late.”

The Cats were outrebounded 42-33 and Iowa center Jamie Cavey had 15 points off layups against NU. Johanna Solverson shredded NU’s defense, driving between as many as three defenders for 12 points in short jumpers and two 3-pointers.

But it wasn’t defense or offense that hurt the team’s morale the most.

Kwasinski said the team was most frustrated with the message it sent to the people who said NU couldn’t build a successful program.

“We played really well against Iowa at Iowa,” she said. “It’s hard when you can’t get any respect and then you try to prove to them that it wasn’t just a fluke game, it’s how good we are, and then with a game like this we kinda proved them right.”

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