Women’s Basketball: Northwestern blows past Rutgers 55-37 in sloppy affair


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Christen Inman shoots a layup. The senior returned from a two-game absence Sunday.

Max Gelman, Reporter

Women’s Basketball

It wasn’t pretty, but Northwestern got the job done.

Coming off a blowout loss to Michigan, the Wildcats (16-5, 5-3 Big Ten) rebounded with a messy 55-37 road win over Rutgers (6-16, 3-6) on Sunday afternoon. Senior forward Lauren Douglas led all scorers with 16 points while senior guard Christen Inman returned from a two-game absence to tally 7 points in 19 minutes.

“I told her after the game she just played a great game, she made everybody better,” coach Joe McKeown said. “I thought Lauren just made smart, really good decisions for us, and it was great to have her out there.”

Though the Cats came away with the win, Sunday’s matchup featured poor shooting and long scoring droughts from both teams. They shot a combined 17-of-53 from the field in the first half, and the Scarlet Knights, who entered the game as the lowest-scoring offense in the Big Ten, shot a dismal 25 percent on the day.

Rutgers jumped out to a 6-0 lead early, holding NU scoreless until well into the first quarter. The Cats slowly clawed their way out of the hole though thanks to a 7-0 run to close out the first half, a stretch that also saw the Scarlet Knights go 0-for-4 and commit five turnovers over the last 5:20 of the second quarter.

The second half merely prolonged Rutgers’ struggles. The hosts’ scoring drought extended almost four minutes into the third quarter, as NU raced out to a double-digit lead that wouldn’t shrink below 12 for the rest of the game.

“We were able to score at times, which is hard to do against Rutgers,” McKeown said. “They don’t give up many points, so you’ve got to make some runs against them the way they defend.”

NU’s usual scoring threats were held largely in check Sunday. Senior forward Nia Coffey shot only 2-of-6, failing to score at least ten points for the second time in three games after doing so in 66 straight contests, and senior guard Ashley Deary was just 3-for-7.

Sophomore guard Amber Jamison, however, continued her string of solid performances. Jamison has now started four consecutive games — the first four starts of her career — and tallied another 10 points against Rutgers on Sunday.

“Because we have so many offensive threats, we spread the floor a lot,” Douglas said. “Then we just worked on where to find the spaces in the offense, and I think we all did a good job of that.”

Now that the Cats have wrapped up their road trip, they return to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a Wednesday tilt against Wisconsin and a weekend matchup against Penn State. McKeown is winless in his coaching career when playing the Nittany Lions.

“It was embarrassing, our loss at Michigan, and in practice we kept that in mind, but also made sure we were thinking about this game,” Douglas said. “I think we did a great job following our gameplan and just keeping our eyes ahead.”

This story was updated at 9:56 p.m. with quotes.

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