Women’s Basketball: NU looks to bounce back after two conference losses

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

After getting edged out by in-state rival Illinois 76-74 Wednesday night, Northwestern (11-6, 1-3 Big Ten) will take on another Big Ten opponent in Wisconsin (9-7, 2-2) on Saturday. The game marked the Cats third of the week due to rescheduling caused by the severe weather. 

“We’re not looking at that at all,” coach Joe McKeown said. “We’re just looking at Saturday and being ready to play. Those are things you just can’t control.”

Wednesday’s loss was full of turnovers and mistakes that NU hopes to clean up this weekend, after two consecutive, sloppy losses. 

“(Wednesday) really hurt us,” McKeown said. “Missed free throws, tips — we need to clean that up if we aspire to be a really good team in the Big Ten which we do.”

Both teams also got into foul trouble in the Wednesday matchup, which also affected the Cats’ chances.

“(Sophomore forward Lauren) Douglas is the best explosive scorer,” McKeown said. “We had to sit her due to fouls. We have to play through those things, they were in foul trouble too.”

Freshman guard Ashley Deary, who has led the team thus far and was honored as a top guard in the country with a spot on the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, scored only 7 points in the matchup. However, the team remains confident in the young point guard.

Sophomore guard Maggie Lyon had a hot hand for the Cats in the beginning of the game Wednesday and contributed 4 of her team’s 8 total 3-pointers, but has faith in both Deary and the rest of her teammates to step up.

“It’s whoever is shooting well, it can be anyone who has a hot hand,” she said. “That’s who we want the ball to go to. Thankfully I made some of them.”

Lyon has complete trust in her team’s young cast. Still, she tries to take the lead because she is often the most experienced player on the court.

“I think that every game I try and set an example, even as a sophomore,” she said. “I’ve seen more games than they have, but I’m not perfect and I’m still learning.”

Lyon also spoke to the fact that even if she, or Deary, wasn’t on their game, someone would be.

“A different person steps up every game, whether it’s a senior, junior or sophomore,” she said.

On defense, NU needs to work on its defense in transition and not sit back.

Sitting in sixth in the Big Ten, Wisconsin should be a beatable team for the Cats to bounce back against.

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