Women’s Basketball: Northwestern comes up just short against No. 16 DePaul


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Abbie Wolf holds the ball. The senior center scored a team-high 18 points in NU’s loss to DePaul on Sunday.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Web Editor

Women’s Basketball

Up three with 96 seconds to play, Northwestern was oh-so-close to the signature win it’s been waiting on for a couple years.

But the Wildcats wilted down the stretch, and in a game of runs, No. 16 DePaul had the last one as the Blue Demons (6-1) won 70-68 to hand NU (5-1) its first loss of the season.

After a quick layup by DePaul’s Sonya Morris, Chante Stonewall blocked sophomore guard Veronica Burton’s 3-point attempt. The Cats got the ball right back, but Burton missed a pair of free throws, leading to a Morris jumper with 43 seconds remaining that put the Blue Demons ahead for good.

“DePaul made a couple more plays than we did at the end,” coach Joe McKeown said. “A lot of the game was played at a pretty high level, and that’s encouraging.”

NU still had an opportunity to win after DePaul took the lead, but senior center Abbie Wolf turned it over with 14 seconds left, forcing the Cats to foul. The Blue Demons missed both their free throws, but the ball went out of bounds on the rebound and the officials were unable to determine who had touched it last. The result was a held ball that gave DePaul another possession.

Junior guard Lindsey Pulliam committed her fifth foul with 2.2 seconds left, and by the time NU got the ball back after Stonewall split the free throws, it was too late.

“I thought we took pretty good care of the ball,” McKeown said. “We just had some turnovers at the wrong time.”

The Blue Demons’ fast-paced style dictated most of the first half. Wolf kept the Cats in the game early, with 10 of her team-high 18 points coming in the opening quarter. The problem was that DePaul couldn’t miss. The Blue Demons made six of their first seven shots — including their first three attempts from long range — and led by two after 10 minutes.

The second quarter was even more high-energy. NU got a spark off the bench from senior guard Byrdy Galernik, who had nine points in the period and a career-high 16 in the game despite playing just 16 minutes. Galernik’s 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the half cut the Cats’ deficit to 39-38.

“She was on fire tonight,” senior forward Abi Scheid said.

It briefly appeared DePaul would win going away in the third quarter after the Blue Demons opened up an eight-point lead. But Galernik keyed an 11-2 NU run to close the period, with her layup at the buzzer putting the Cats up 53-52.

DePaul, however, shot the ball better in the fourth. The Blue Demons made eight of 13 shots in the last 10 minutes, while NU was a pedestrian 6-for-14. Sophomore forward Courtney Shaw provided quality minutes off the bench and Pulliam hit a few contested jumpers, but the Cats just weren’t able to finish.

Nonetheless, NU gave its first ranked opponent of the season all it could handle, while holding DePaul — which came in averaging more than 90 points per game — to its lowest offensive output of the year.

“It was a great college basketball game for this time of year,” McKeown said. “It was disappointing, I can’t lie…. Our defensive effort was real solid. We just didn’t finish the game.”

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