Rapid Recap: Northwestern 77, No. 22 Iowa 69


Joshua Hoffman

Northwestern sophomore forward Paige Mott posts up against a Loyola-Chicago defender on Nov. 17. Mott held her own on the court Thursday against Iowa, helping slow down their high-speed offense.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

After a 19-day break due to COVID-19 cases within Northwestern’s women’s basketball program, the Wildcats played in their second Big Ten matchup against No. 22 Iowa Thursday. 

Behind 25 points from senior guard Veronica Burton and a season high 20 points from freshman guard Melannie Daley, NU proved their nearly three-week break was not slowing the squad down anytime soon. The Cats defeated the Hawkeyes 76-69 Thursday in Iowa City, Ia.

NU opened the contest without missing a beat, grabbing an early lead in the first quarter and stunning a high-attacking Iowa offense. Burton’s presence on the court was evident, commanding plays and setting her teammates up to extend the squad’s lead. On the other side of the court, she stepped up to the task, guarding Iowa sophomore guard Caitlin Clark—who leads the conference with 242 points.

The Cats showcased their famous “Blizzard” defense, pressuring the Hawkeyes above the arc and limiting their shot opportunities early. However, an upperclassman-heavy Iowa team seized the upper hand toward the end of the second quarter, taking the lead and controlling possession. 

But NU kept fighting, as Burton forced turnovers on the defensive end of the court and slowed down the pace of the play in an attempt to keep the Hawkeyes’ lead close. By the end of the half, the Cats were down by only two points, indicating the battle was far from over.

Heading into the third quarter, NU brought the same energy they left the first half with and took the lead over Iowa. A Clark fast break layup inside the paint silenced the Cats lead quickly. However, senior forward Courtney Shaw made her presence on the court known, hitting back-to-back layups inside the paint to extend NU’s lead.

Once again, Burton stole the show in the third quarter, hitting a heavily guarded layup and keeping Iowa on their toes to try and score.

In the last ten minutes, the Cats remained intense, securing possession for a majority of the regulation. Shaw was a central player inside the paint, grabbing offensive rebounds for NU’s second chance opportunities at the net. Her eleven rebounds in the game kept the Cats in the game in the second half.

Burton’s last-minute efforts in the fourth quarter led the Cats to get the win over Iowa on the road.


  1. Veronica Burton’s role on both ends of the court is vital to Northwestern’s success

Veronica Burton’s presence on the court lifted the Cats tremendously, as she racked up 25 points and eight steals Thursday. Her last-minute scoring before halftime put the team in a good position for the second half, showcasing her hustle and determination to get a win in the books. She kept the same intensity in the second half of the game, pushing the pace of NU’s offense to take back the lead over Iowa. Burton’s last minute free throws and steals in the fourth quarter propelled the Cats to their first top 25 win of the season.

  1. Freshman guard Melannie Daley came up big to slow down Caitlin Clark’s offensive prowess 

Only a freshman, Melannie Daley finished the game as the one of the Cats’ leading scorers with 18 points, holding her own against a strong defensive Iowa team. Despite this being her first season of collegiate basketball, Daley stepped up big on the court and showcased her ability to get past her defenders and drive to the paint. With first-years making up a majority of the starting lineup, Daley’s performance Thursday shows promising signs for the freshman class for the remainder of the season.

  1. Northwestern faces Ohio State on Sunday

The Cats will head back to Welsh-Ryan Arena Sunday to face Ohio State in their second conference battle of 2022. Following the Iowa contest, NU must prioritize speeding up their pace of play and grabbing second chance opportunities inside the paint to capitalize on scoring. With senior guard Sydney Wood still on the sidelines, the Cats will need to incorporate more players on the offensive end of the court.

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