Rapid Recap: Northwestern 63, Loyola 47


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

Freshman forward Caileigh Walsh celebrates with teammates. The Cats routed Loyola for their third victory of the season.

Kyle Leverone, Reporter

Only 4.8 miles lie between Northwestern and Loyola-Chicago, straight down Sheridan Road, jammed with red lights and Amazon trucks parked in the right lane. It typically takes anywhere between 15-20 minutes to get to that left turn onto West Sheridan to the point where you can see the blue waters of Lake Michigan stretch beyond to meet the sunless sky.

Tonight, with 4.8 miles and 16 points separating the two schools, it felt sunnier on this side of Sheridan. The Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) rolled to a 63-47 victory over the visiting Ramblers (1-2).

The first quarter began and ended in a blur for Loyola watching an open Caileigh Walsh three fall to begin and seeing the Cats put up a season high in points for a quarter with 25. The Ramblers made a concerted effort to shut Veronica Burton down, so she instead dished out seven assists, tying her season high in just 10 minutes of play. Two of those assists landed in Walsh’s hands — she finished the quarter a team high eight points.

The second quarter, however, slowed to a crawl. An Amazon truck parked on the right side of the road caused an offensive backup. The Wildcat offense finished the second period with the least amount of points scored in a quarter this season with a mere six. Despite their lack of offensive proficiency, they maintained a 12-point, 31-19, lead going into halftime, due to a nine-point quarter from the Ramblers.

It was more of the same starting the second half, as both teams struggled to put the ball in the hoop for the first three minutes, but shortly after, only one team struggled to put the ball in the hoop. NU reeled off an 11-0 run halfway through the third with points from Sydney Wood and Courtney Shaw.

Running with around a 20-point lead for most of the fourth quarter, the Wildcats cruised to a clean 16-point victory and a 3-0 start to the season.

1. DePaul will be Northwestern’s first real test
Keep driving 6.6 miles farther down Lake Shore Drive, and you’ll reach DePaul in Lincoln Park. The Blue Demons, after losing to No. 24 Texas A&M, have three days to wait until testing the Wildcats on Sunday. This other Chicago neighbor can score the ball, and having put up at least 75 in their first three games — including a 114-point performance against Texas Southern — this will be a good test of NU’s defensive potential.

2. Caileigh Walsh steps up big
NU, donning the all white threads tonight, had first-year Caileigh Walsh establish herself as yet another scoring threat. Burton — fourth in the Big Ten in scoring — averages 21 points per game, and Courtney Shaw averages 11.5. With these two as the only two players averaging double digits, Walsh set herself up tonight as an additional threat as a quick catch-and-shoot three-point shooter or good for some points in the paint.

3. Another defensive performance in the 40’s
Going into their matchup against high-flying DePaul, the Wildcats look confident with their defensive capabilities. The Cats were third in the Big Ten with an average of 47.5 points against going into tonight’s game, and holding the Ramblers to 47 points makes this their third game in a row limiting a team to under 50 points. Although Loyola inhibited NU’s offense tonight, the purple-and-white can count on their defense to be a staple on Sunday.

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