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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern loses a nail-biter to Michigan in overtime 79-78

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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern loses a nail-biter to Michigan in overtime 79-78

Lindsey Pulliam attempts a jump-shot. The Wildcats missed two potential game-winning shots in Tuesday’s overtime loss, including a jumper by Pulliam.

Lindsey Pulliam attempts a jump-shot. The Wildcats missed two potential game-winning shots in Tuesday’s overtime loss, including a jumper by Pulliam.

Daily File Photo by Katie Pach

Lindsey Pulliam attempts a jump-shot. The Wildcats missed two potential game-winning shots in Tuesday’s overtime loss, including a jumper by Pulliam.

Daily File Photo by Katie Pach

Daily File Photo by Katie Pach

Lindsey Pulliam attempts a jump-shot. The Wildcats missed two potential game-winning shots in Tuesday’s overtime loss, including a jumper by Pulliam.

Andrew Golden, Assistant Sports Editor

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Women’s Basketball


For the first time this season, Northwestern found itself tied at the end of regulation on Tuesday. When a back-and-forth overtime left Michigan up by one point with just 12 seconds remaining, the Wildcats had one more chance to pull off their second-straight upset.

After inbounding the ball at half-court, freshman guard Veronica Burton got the ball back from junior forward Bryana Hopkins. Burton dribbled out of a trap and found sophomore guard Jordan Hamilton, who drove past her defender and put up a layup in heavy traffic.

The ball hit the left side of the rim and then the right side of the rim before rattling out, and NU (9-5, 2-2 Big Ten) lost in heartbreaking fashion to Michigan (11-5, 2-2), 79-78.

The Cats came into the game on a two-game winning streak and got off to a quick start, looking to beat the Wolverines for the first time in almost four years. Senior forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah scored the first 4 points of the game for the Wildcats, but two early fouls caused her to come out of the game. She picked up her third foul late in the second quarter and eventually fouled out of the game late in the fourth.

“Anytime she’s not in, it puts us at a disadvantage,” coach Joe McKeown said. “She’s probably the best rebounder in the Big Ten.”

But Kunaiyi-Akpanah wasn’t the only NU player who didn’t play late in the game. Junior forward Abi Scheid hurt her ankle on a layup in the second quarter and was sidelined for the rest of the game. Fortunately for the Cats, junior center Abbie Wolf provided a spark off of the bench.

Wolf played the best game of her NU career, scoring a career-high 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting, while also pulling down 13 rebounds.

“She was great,” McKeown said. “She’s been playing well and she really helped us out tonight.”

The two teams didn’t get much separation from each other in the first half, but in the second half, the Cats turned things around. After Michigan scored to make the game 48-47, NU went on a 9-0 run to build an 8-point lead in the third quarter.

But the Wolverines fought back and with 2:12 remaining in regulation, Michigan forward Naz Hillmon scored a layup to tie the game at 67. NU took the lead shortly thereafter but couldn’t seal the game with free throws: They went 3-for-8 in the final 2 minutes of regulation, allowing Michigan to stay in it and eventually tie the game.
In overtime, down by three, sophomore guard Lindsey Pulliam hit four free throws in a row on back-to-back possessions to give the Cats a 1-point lead with 1:09 remaining. But Hopkins then fouled Wolverines guard Nicole Munger who hit both of her free throws that ultimately became the game-winners.

“We just gotta be resilient,” McKeown said. “We were very close to being undefeated and first place in the Big Ten … but we gotta finish games.”

Email: andrewgolden2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @andrewcgolden

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