Rapid Recap: Nebraska 73, Northwestern 59


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern senior Veronica Burton faces a double team by Purdue’s defense. Burton led the team with 16 points against Nebraska Sunday.

Skye Swann, Newsletter Editor

With the potential of a postseason run on the horizon, Northwestern aimed to conclude the regular season solidly against Nebraska. The squad traveled to Lincoln, Neb. for their last matchup of the 2021-2022 campaign. 

Despite 16 points from senior guard Veronica Burton and 12 points from junior guard Laya Hartman, the Wildcats (16-11, 8-8 Big Ten) fell 73-59 to the Cornhuskers (22-7, 11-7 Big Ten) Sunday. NU battled its own offensive miscues and a high-pressure Nebraska defense. 

From tip-off, the Cats were playing on the defensive against the Cornhuskers’ fast starting five. Only two minutes into regulation, NU trailed by five points, showing zero signs of cutting into Nebraska’s lead. However, the team gained composure halfway through the first quarter, shrinking the deficit to just two points. Burton played a key role on offense, facilitating the ball and getting on the board. 

The Cats seized a quick lead early in the second quarter courtesy of Hartman’s shot from beyond the arc. However, they lost it shortly thereafter once the Cornhuskers responded with a three-point jumper of their own. But the Cats went back-and-forth with their conference opponents the entire time period, showcasing both teams’ grit and hustle. 

With six minutes remaining before halftime, the Cats faced arguably their biggest challenge of the game when Burton went to the bench for an arm injury on the floor. And yet, NU grounded itself and stayed consistent, denying the Cornhuskers the ability to run up the scoreboard. 

Burton entered into the game with two minutes remaining and connected with Hartman for a wide open three-point jumper to finish the first half. Down by only three points, the Cats were more than prepared to come back strong in the third quarter. 

However, NU’s offensive struggles plagued the team in the third quarter while Nebraska went on a substantial run, extending its lead to double digits. Although the Cats experienced offensive success midway through the quarter, the Cornhuskers’ three-point success halted all the squad’s progress. Burton kicked into high gear and scored nine points, leading the team.

NU’s chances of clawing back into the game worsened in the fourth quarter, as they fell behind. Even though the Cats began an offensive run late in the period, Nebraska’s lead was too large with little time remaining in the contest. NU fought to the last minute despite not being able to slow down Nebraska’s high scoring offense. 


  1. Northwestern’s offensive versatility came alive in the latter end of the first quarter

The Wildcats’ offensive range captured the matchup towards the end of the first quarter, when four different players put points on the board. Burton led the team in the period with five points and one assist while Brown tallied four points and one assist. Additionally, freshman forward Caileigh Walsh excelled in the post against a big Nebraska team, racking up three points to close out the quarter. The Cats’ diverse offensive scoring ultimately kept the Cornhuskers on their toes and boosted the squad’s comeback. 

  1. Veronica Burton’s played a critical role on the offensive end of the floor 

Although Burton had a fairly low scoring game — ten points— her presence on the court was vital. She played many different roles on both sides of the floor, opening up lanes for different players to get on the board offensively. Despite a brief exit in the second quarter, Burton came back onto the court not missing a beat. Burton’s efforts in the game were more than what was on the stats sheet.

  1. The Wildcats head to the Big Ten Tournament next

Northwestern’s next game will be at the Big Ten Tournament next week in Indianapolis. With enormous wins over different conference opponents, like Michigan and Purdue, the Wildcats have a lot of momentum entering into this tournament. 

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