Women’s Basketball: Northwestern squares off against Purdue

Rebecca Friedman, Assistant Sports Editor

Home court advantage proved to be overrated for Northwestern as they topped in-state rival Illinois in Champaign on Sunday, after falling to them at home earlier in the season.

The Wildcats look to continue the road magic against Purdue, as the two faceoff in Indiana Thursday. The Cats aim to earn their second consecutive win while the Boilermakers look to clinch their fifth conference win coming off their first Big Ten loss of the season against Indiana.

Sophomore forward Alex Cohen praised the team’s ability to come in and play in a hostile environment against Illinois and is confident the Cats can do so again against the Boilermakers.

“We just have to keep the momentum and practice hard,” Cohen said. “Purdue is another tough team like all the teams in the Big Ten. We’re going to go in and look at the scouting report and see what we have to do to beat Purdue.”

The scouting report for the Boilermakers should show their ability to finish out close games. Purdue has won three Big Ten games in overtime, including a triple-overtime victory.

Northwestern has battled in very close games so far this season as well, losing only one by more than eight points. Finishing out games has been a focus for them all season and they proved they could do so against Illinois on Sunday.

The Cats offense was much improved on Sunday and NU was able to better handle the ball under pressure.

“We made plays,” Coach Joe McKeown said. “Defensively, they didn’t let you just run offense. We had to make plays and make better decisions.”

The win definitely helped the Cats’ confidence going into the rest of the conference season after a rocky start.

“We knew we could have won all four prior. We had them so close,” freshman forward Maggie Lyon said. “The first win was important.”