Out With A Whimper (Women’s Basketball)

Matt Baker

By Matt BakerThe Daily Northwestern

After Northwestern struggled with turnovers for most of the season, the Wildcats thought their mental mistakes were gone. The team turned its -5 turnover differential to a +5 advantage in the last seven games, helping NU win two of their last three.

But the Cats lost their battle with ball control in Thursday night’s regular season finale. Indiana scored 34 points off of 21 NU turnovers as the Hoosiers beat the Cats, 83-59 in Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana (17-11, 6-9 Big Ten) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead behind a jumper and three-point play by senior Sarah McKay, but Glasauer responded with eight straight points to tie the score with 17:21 left in the first half. The teams traded baskets, and a spin-move by sophomore Julie Bielawski tied the game at 12 five minutes into the contest.

But then NU (8-21, 2-14) fell apart. The Hoosiers went on a 37-10 run in the half’s final 15 minutes to put Indiana up for good. A lay-up by junior Sara Stutz cut the deficit to 28-18 with 6:32 before the break, but the Hoosiers held the Cats without a field goal for the next five minutes.

After Glasauer’s jumper with 1:36 left in the half ended NU’s scoring drought, Indiana scored eight straight to take a 49-22 lead into the locker room. As the rest of the team struggled from the field, making just 3 of 18 shots, Glasauer led the Cats, scoring 12 of NU’s 22 first-half points.

“We just didn’t come out with the focus and intensity we’ve been playing with,” coach Beth Combs said. “We got beat on hustle plays and loose balls. They just played harder than we did tonight.”

Indiana capitalized on NU’s early mistakes, scoring 22 points off of NU’s 13 turnovers in the first half. The Hoosiers committed seven turnovers.

Glasauer said Indiana’s tight defense forced many turnovers, but most of the Cats’ mistakes were their own fault.

“It was a problem a couple weeks ago, and we had it under control,” Glasauer said. “It had a big impact on how we played because the games we won we protected the ball. Today we didn’t do that.”

Glasauer said the Cats’ frustration at their deficit showed on the floor with cheap fouls. NU’s 19 fouls led to a 23-11 edge in free-throws attempted for Indiana.