Women’s Basketball: Northwestern offensive woes hit hard, three-game losing streak continues


Alyce Brown/The Daily Northwestern

Senior forward Courtney Shaw battles inside the paint against Penn State defenders Thursday. Shaw was one of Northwestern’s leading scorers against Maryland Sunday with nine points.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

Facing one of their biggest conference opponents of the season, Northwestern had an uphill battle Sunday against No. 12 Maryland in College Park, Md. 

Despite getting an early lead in the first quarter, the Wildcats (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten) struggled the entire game, extending their losing streak. The Terrapins’ (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) fast-paced offense and high-pressuring transition scheme was an enormous problem for the squad, who forced a total of 16 turnovers. 

After Maryland seized the lead, NU had issues getting any offensive momentum, making careless mistakes inside the paint and forcing nonexistent passes. Senior guard Veronica Burton, senior forward Courtney Shaw and graduate student guard Lauryn Satterwhite led the Cats in scoring with nine points each. But the upperclassmen leadership couldn’t fend off the Terrapins’ unit, which was stacked from top to bottom. 

With freshman forward Caileigh Walsh sidelined for the matchup, NU lacked a key piece to its offensive puzzle. Walsh’s size and ability to maneuver inside the arc was desperately needed against Maryland’s dynamic power forwards who collapsed on any of the Cats attempting a layup. 

By the end of the second quarter, NU was down double digits with no sign of cutting the Terrapins’ lead anytime soon. Although junior guard Laya Hartman hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the half, the Cats were lacking energy. 

Heading into the third quarter, NU’s outlook was gloomy, as it stared down a 20-point deficit a minute into the second half. Satterwhite led her team in the quarter with six points, and the group went seven-for-17 on field goals. The Cats’ lack of shots gave Maryland the upper hand, allowing them to keep making transition three-point shots.

The third quarter exposed NU’s defensive weakness, particularly in the fast break transition on the court. As a whole, the squad struggled to stop the Terrapins’ quick ball movement, frequently leaving players open for a shot opportunity. Not only were the Cats struggling to get shots, but they were also having a poor time halting Maryland’s rapid scoring, digging themselves deeper into their hole. 

At the start of the fourth quarter, there was little to nothing left for the group to do to get out of this game with a win. Down by over 20 points, NU continued to give it their all and try to get some offensive runs going.

However, Maryland’s scoring was unstoppable, hitting shots from all areas of the offensive end of the court until the game buzzer sounded. 

With this game in the rearview mirror, the Cats’ next focus will be trying to defeat powerhouse Iowa, which includes one of the best guards in the Big Ten, sophomore Caitlin Clark. 

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