Rapid Recap: Northwestern 80, Purdue 67


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Northwestern senior Veronica Burton looks to pass to a teammate on the court. Burton led the team in scoring with 26 points.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

With a four-game losing streak on the line, Northwestern searched for a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Fortunately, the Wildcats (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten) found it Friday, defeating Purdue (13-9, 4-7 Big Ten) 75-65, snapping their four-game losing streak. Rescheduled due to inclement weather, NU hit the court in West Lafayette, Ind. with intensity and grit.

Behind 26 points from senior guard Veronica Burton, 13 points from junior guard Laya Hartman and 13 rebounds from senior Courtney Shaw, the Cats appeared to put their four-game losing streak in the rearview mirror.

Starting off the first quarter, NU grabbed the lead and made fast break plays to keep the Boilermakers on their toes. Despite the advantage, Purdue figured out the Cats’ game, making plays to get possession and convert quickly. Suffering from offensive struggles for a few rotations, NU recuperated and took back the lead.

Heading into the second quarter, the Cats’ offense switched into full effect courtesy of freshman forward Caileigh Walsh and junior guard Kaylah Rainey. The two players held their own on the court, hitting open three-point shots and layups inside the paint. With Burton taking a quick breather on the bench, NU had to find other offensive producers to keep the lead.

The Cats continued their offensive success once Burton and Shaw stepped back onto the floor. With only a minute before halftime, NU had a double-digit lead over Purdue with no signs of slowing down. Walsh’s six points in the quarter gave the Boilermakers enormous trouble, proving that the first year was not going to be stopped.

Going into the third quarter, the Cats’ seized control of the game offensively, pushing their edge to 15 points with under five minutes remaining. NU’s fast ball movement and second chance opportunities hit Purdue hard, quashing any momentum they got on the court. 

On the defensive end, the Cats had a field day, earning two steals and forcing three turnovers. The Boilermakers ended their scoring drought late into the quarter, signaling a chance at a comeback. 

But NU kept its composure, getting the ball back to the paint and running their scheme despite Purdue’s high-pressure defense. At the end of the third quarter, the Cats were up by 16 points.

The last 10 minutes of regulation showcased more of NU’s offensive success and shooting accuracy. With an extensive advantage over the Boilermakers, the Cats finished the matchup strong and left West Lafayette victorious.


  1. Offensive success carried the Wildcats the entire game

Northwestern’s offensive dominance stole the show Friday in West Lafayette, Ind. — something the Wildcats have struggled with for the past four games. Despite being on the road, NU appeared stronger than ever offensively, making fast plays and repeatedly passing the ball to the open player. The Cats had 7 different players put points up Friday, highlighting the depth of this versatile squad. Approaching the end of the regular season, NU will have to rely on more than Veronica Burton to get the job done against highly competitive Big Ten foes.

  1. Caileigh Walsh came to play Friday against Purdue

The freshman forward was in her element against the Boilermakers, scoring nine points in the contest. After a rocky showing against Iowa last week, Walsh bounced back, showing her strength inside the paint and beyond the arc. She made crucial three-point shots during the second quarter to extend the Cats’ lead and end Purdue’s attempt to get back into the game. As one of the central forwards for the squad, Walsh’s presence on the floor was critical to the group’s success.

  1. Northwestern snaps their four-game losing streak, plays Penn State Sunday

The Wildcats’ win Friday over Purdue ended their four-game losing streak, but in order to ensure success in the last leg of the season, NU has to come out strong on both ends of the court. With the offensive success Friday, the Cats must carry the same intensity and hustle Sunday against conference opponent Penn State.

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Twitter: @sswann301

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