NU Seeks Revenge In Tournament (Women’s Basketball)

Matt Baker

By Matt BakerThe Daily Northwestern

When Northwestern meets Minnesota today in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, the Wildcats will be looking to advance to the second round for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. A win over the Golden Gophers will surpass the Cats’ conference win total for last year and send senior captain A.J. Glasauer out on a high note.

But NU (8-21, 2-14 Big Ten) has an extra incentive against the Golden Gophers: revenge.

The Cats took Minnesota (15-14, 7-9) to the wire in their only regular season match-up in January. But Minnesota’s Emily Fox capitalized on one of NU’s 20 turnovers and made a buzzer-beater from the top of the key to win the game, 65-63.

“We want revenge,” freshman Beth Marshall said. “They beat us at home, and we did play them really close, but we ended up making mistakes at the end of the game that cost us.”

Minnesota used a 13-7 edge over the Cats in offensive rebounding to help seal its win in January. NU ranks last in the Big Ten in rebounding; the Golden Gophers rank third.

Marshall said the Cats will take the confidence they earned from their close loss to Minnesota earlier in the year into Thursday’s game. Should NU win, it would play the Big Ten’s second seed, Michigan State on Friday afternoon.

Though she said NU has to worry about beating Minnesota first, Marshall said she was excited about getting a chance to play Michigan State for the third time this year. The Cats lost to the nationally-ranked Spartans twice this month by a combined 12 points, including a failed 18-point second half comeback in their 68-63 loss in East Lansing, Mich., on Feb. 15.

“I really don’t think we’re going to let them beat us three times in a row,” Marshall said.

Despite NU’s No. 11 seeding in the tournament and its 2-14 conference record, coach Beth Combs said wins and losses are irrelevant in the postseason.

“You can talk about the season, you can talk about losses, but the bottom line is everyone is going in on even ground and playing to win,” Combs said. “We want a win. It’s about the moment and playing to win.”

The Big Ten tournament will also feature the last game of Glasauer’s career with the Cats, unless they win the tournament. Glasauer is set to move into ninth place in school history by playing in her 113th game against Minnesota, and also ranks in the top-10 in 3-pointers attempted and free-throw percentage. She was named an honorable mention on the All-Big Ten team Tuesday and leads NU in scoring (12.8 points per game) and assists (3.3 per game).

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