Rapid Recap: Ohio State 74, Northwestern 61


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

Veronica Burton dribbles the basketball. Burton had 16 points in Northwestern’s loss to Ohio State.

Kyle Leverone, Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern (10-4, 2-1) had to go through the Big Ten’s most prolific scorer on Thursday in their contest against Caitlin Clark and Iowa. Today, the Cats had to go through the Big Ten’s most prolific scorers in Ohio State (10-4, 3-2).

The matchup between the Buckeyes – who average 84 points per game – and the Wildcats – who average 58.6 – marked a clash of opposing forces.

After the usual loud pregame sequence, the game started in eerie silence. The student-free crowd in Welsh-Ryan was quiet and so, too, were the first three minutes of the game for NU, which fell behind 7-0 early. But after an expected four steals and six points off of turnovers in the first quarter, the Cats came clawing back to take the lead at 10-9. The first ended 18-12, and the six-point advantage stood with the Buckeyes.  

The remainder of the first half was as productive as a procrastinating college student, as both teams experienced minutes-long scoring droughts and flat shooting percentages from beyond the arc. Ultimately, in an arena where the basketball was the only thing louder than the lone fan cheering during free throws, neither offense was making much noise either. 

Shots were bound to start falling. And they did for the Buckeyes. started the third with a five-minute scoring drought, and Ohio State put up nine in that time. That ratio of scoring continued, and the Buckeyes found themselves on top by 19 three-fourths of the way through the game. 

The final period of play came and went with the same level of volume as the beginning of the game. Ohio State’s leading scorer on the season, Taylor Mikesell (18.8 points per game), started hitting some shots after chucking up 23 attempts. She finished with 13 and Jacy Sheldon, Mikesell’s backcourt counterpart, put up 20. 

In the end, Northwestern brought the lead down from 21 to 13 behind several Kaylah Rainey and Laya Hartman fourth-quarter baskets, but Ohio State bested NU 74-61. The Cats will now look to bounce back on Thursday against Illinois.


  • Steals, steals, steals

Steals spark this team’s offense. In their first quarter run, the team had four steals and six points off of turnovers. The rest of the way, NU had six steals and seven points off of turnovers, but never went on another substantial run. It’s not frequent that someone refers to a defense stagnating, but NU’s defense feels like an entity with a heartbeat. When its defense runs stagnant, their offense hurts as a result. 

  • Missed shots and turnovers

Despite the eight-point win against ranked Iowa on Thursday after a three-week COVID-19 layoff, the sloppy offensive play in today’s matchup could have been a result of that time away from the court. Ohio State’s full-court press also stunted the Cats’ ability to get set on offense. NU finished with 20 turnovers and shot 27% from beyond the arc. No matter what its cause was, the Cats did not look like themselves on offense today.

  • Veronica Burton is solid in defeat 

No matter the score of the game, no one’s name is announced more by Welsh-Ryan’s PA announcer than Veronica Burton’s. She maintains her role as this team’s leader on both ends of the ball, and today, she showed that. Although this game had little to write home about for Northwestern fans, Burton still brought in 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals. 

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