Rapid Recap: No. 23 Iowa 72, Northwestern 67 (OT)


Angeli Mittal

Northwestern senior Veronica Burton drives past an Iowa defender for a layup. Burton led the team in scoring with 19 points.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

After receiving its third consecutive conference loss to Maryland last Sunday, Northwestern entered Welsh-Ryan Arena hungry to come out on top against No. 23 Iowa in an enormous Friday night showdown. 

Yet, the squad could not put this game away, losing 72-67 in overtime.

The Wildcats (11-8, 3-5 Big Ten) hit the floor, energized and motivated Friday for their second battle against the ranked Hawkeyes (14-4, 8-1 Big Ten). With Iowa led by sophomore guard Caitlin Clark, who leads the Big Ten in shooting, NU’s main focus was limiting her scoring opportunities at all costs.

Senior guard Veronica Burton led the team in scoring with 19 points while Junior guard Laya Hartman had 14 points and freshman guard Melannie Daley recorded 13 points.

Although the past games were unlucky for the Cats, the squad started their matchup against the Hawkeyes with confidence, denying Iowa any room to get a shot off. Yet, NU struggled shooting early in the first quarter, missing easy layups and open three-point shots. But the Cats found their rhythm: they started making shots and ended the first quarter with a tight two-point lead over the Hawkeyes.

Daley came alive at the end of the first quarter, trying to follow up on her career high 22-point performance against the Hawkeyes earlier this month. Transitioning into the second quarter, NU’s Blizzard defense was giving Iowa severe challenges, allowing the Cats to get fast break plays off of Hawkeye turnovers.

But just when the Cats appeared to control the game, Clark refused to be silenced, making a wide-open three pointer. From there, the Hawkeyes went on a run closing NU’s lead to only three points. While Iowa was getting into the swing of things, the Cats were breaking down and transforming into a completely different team than the group that hit the floor in the first 10 minutes of regulation.

With a nail-biting end to the first half, NU kicked into high gear for the third quarter, going on a 13-point run before a Hawkeyes timeout. Burton led the show, hitting back-to-back three-point shots. After the timeout, Hartman was another offensive threat for the Cats, making layups inside the paint and hitting shots beyond the arc. 

Ending the third quarter on a five-minute scoring drought, NU had to come out strong for the last 10 minutes in order to put the game away.

However, the Cats struggled to score in the fourth quarter while Iowa went on a run to put itself down two points. The momentum was shifting in favor of the Hawkeyes in the last 10 minutes, as they hit a pull up jumper to tie the game and seven minutes left on the game clock. But Burton gave it her all, answering Iowa with a jumper of her own to take back the lead.

In spite of Burton’s attempt, the Hawkeyes’ quick offense was able to regain the momentum with another scoring run. Now, with the clock winding down, NU hurried to get ahead, substituting in Satterwhite and Hartman to get more offensive looks on the floor.

The Cats still struggled to connect on the offensive end, calling another timeout and making last minute substitutions with only a minute left to play. Then, with a little over 30 seconds remaining, Daley hit a fading pullup jumper to tie the game. 

After successfully denying Clark with the game winning shot, NU pushed the fast break with 3.9 seconds left. Freshman guard Jillian Brown found Hartman in transition for an open layup, seizing the lead. However, with an error found on the game clock, the referees reversed the ruling, sending the game into overtime.

Despite the additional minutes of play, the Cats were unsuccessful in getting a win over No. 23 Iowa.


  1. Melannie Daley will be an offensive star for the Northwestern program

Only a freshman, Melannie Daley’s growth this season has been mesmerizing, as she has come up big for Northwestern’s offense. One of the Wildcats’ scoring leaders against the Hawkeyes, Daley has the potential to fill the shoes of Lindsey Pulliam for the squad and provide consistency where NU has been streaky in past games. Her quickness and agility inside the paint gave the Cats a leg up early in the matchup Friday and helped the team find their rhythm. With a handful of games remaining in the season and a possibility of a March Madness postseason run, Daley has the potential to be Burton’s right hand woman on the offensive end of the court.

  1. Northwestern’s Blizzard defense is the Iowa offense’s kryptonite

Although the Wildcats struggled defensively for the past three games, the Blizzard defense proved to be an obstacle Iowa could not overcome Friday. Similar to their first rendezvous of the season, NU’s high pressure defense forced Hawkeye turnovers and limited their shot opportunities. The Cats stopped Iowa sophomore Caitlin Clark and forward Monika Czinano from going on a huge scoring run which shocked the entire Hawkeye offense to its core. NU’s battle with Iowa showed just how detrimental the Blizzard defense can be to an opponent’s offensive scheme.

  1. The Wildcats’ second half performance will play a crucial role for the remainder of the season

One of the main struggles for the Cats has been their streakiness in the second half of games. With intense conference competitors still left in the schedule, NU must work on this area of their play in order to have a successful postseason career. With the possibility of making another March Madness run in the future, the Cats will have to play the full 40 minutes with the same high energy and intensity in order to come out on top in the postseason.

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