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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern loses second meeting with Michigan

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Jordan Hamilton looks for a screen. The freshman guard led NU with 21 points in the loss at Michigan.

Jordan Hamilton looks for a screen. The freshman guard led NU with 21 points in the loss at Michigan.

Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson

Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson

Jordan Hamilton looks for a screen. The freshman guard led NU with 21 points in the loss at Michigan.

Cassidy Jackson, Reporter

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It was a different night but the same deficit for Northwestern.

The Wildcats (9-17, 2-10 Big Ten) took a road trip to Ann Arbor to take on No. 21 Michigan (20-6, 9-4) less than two weeks after facing the Wolverines in Evanston. Yet, Thursday’s score doesn’t demonstrate the dramatic improvement in play by the Cats as they lost by 21, 84-63.

Two weeks ago, NU also lost to Michigan by 21, that time by a score of score of 80-59.

Freshman guard Jordan Hamilton said the team feels slightly frustrated that the overall score didn’t show a their improvement.

“There is frustration with the idea that they still beat us by the same amount,” Hamilton said. “When you don’t recover and hold teams to a lesser margin of winning, it does get a little frustrating. But when that happens, you’ve just got to learn from those losses and try to improve the next time.”

Even though the overall score didn’t demonstrate the team’s improvement, the Cats showed progress elsewhere.

Hamilton’s offensive play contrasted sharply with last time NU took on the Wolverines. On the Cats’ home court, Hamilton made only one of her 11 attempted shots. This time around, Hamilton led NU on the scoreboard, earning the Cats 21 points. Hamilton said her confidence had returned entering Thursday’s game.

“(Assistant coach Tasha) Pointer tells me everyday to be shot ready,” Hamilton said. “Even though I wasn’t making shots the first time we played Michigan, I was still going to shoot it. I felt like that’s what I was called to do, so that’s what I did, even if I was missing. Coming into this game, those past shots were not in my mind at all. I feel like my percentage went up because I believed in myself.”

NU also started stronger this meeting. Last game against Michigan, the Cats ended the first quarter trailing by 13 points. This time, NU was only behind 3 points at the first break. Sophomore forward Abi Scheid said coming out hard was the team’s goal, and they achieved it.

“Our coach’s advice this time was have the first punch,” Scheid said. “That was really our focus going into it, and we’ve been practicing that all leading up to this game.”

Ultimately, NU wasn’t able to maintain the momentum, as the Cats began to fall more behind in the second quarter, scoring only 7 points while Michigan poured in 22. Michigan senior guard Katelynn Flaherty dominated the Wolverines’ scoreboard, scoring a game-high 36 points. Scheid attributed NU’s loss to their inability to stop Flaherty from making shot after shot.

Coach Joe McKeown said he saw significant improvement in the team’s offense and is choosing to focus on that.

“They’re one of the best teams in the country, and I’m proud because I saw a lot of good things,” McKeown said.

Email: cassidyjackson2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @CassidyKJackson

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