Rapid Recap: Northwestern 88, Wisconsin-Parkside 72


Seeger Gray/Daily Senior Staffer

Northwestern sophomore guard Jillian Brown dribbles the ball. Brown had 18 points in the exhibition game against UW-Parkside.

Skye Swann, Assistant Gameday Editor

Ahead of their 2022-23 season opener next Monday, Northwestern welcomed fans and students back to Welsh-Ryan Arena to watch their exhibition match against Wisconsin-Parkside Tuesday evening. 

Behind graduate student guard Sydney Wood and graduate student forward Courtney Shaw, the Wildcats are looking for a fresh start following Veronica Burton’s departure to the WNBA. 

NU started the game strong, pushing the pace offensively and controlling the momentum. Sophomore guard Jillian Brown stepped up to the plate, opening the scoring for the Cats with a smooth three-point bucket. Alongside Brown, sophomore forward Caileigh Walsh — who led the team with 21 points — and sophomore guard Hailey Weaver were making moves on the court, troubling the Rangers’ defense.

However, the Rangers made adjustments in the second quarter and gained the lead over NU. Going on a run, the Rangers forced the Cats to go on the defense and enter into their famous Blizzard formation. Fortunately, the Rangers were shaken up, leading to turnovers and NU possession.

At the end of the first half, the Cats held a four-point lead and headed into the locker room with a ton of momentum. 

NU skyrocketed offensively in the third quarter, securing a double-digit lead over their opponents before a media timeout. Walsh and Brown were unstoppable, pushing past the post and hitting jump shots from mid-range.

The Cats continued to play their game in the fourth quarter, testing out different offensive motions inside the post in preparation for their season opener against Oregon. Holding a substantial lead over the Rangers, coach Joe McKeown started getting some freshman players onto the floor to get some playing time.

Finishing out the matchup strong, the Cats secured a win to kick off the new campaign and look to carry the momentum for the rest of the matchups ahead.


  1. Brown could be the offensive catalyst the Wildcats are missing after Burton’s departure

Brown held her own on the court Thursday against the Rangers. She tallied 18 points for NU, proving as one of the central offensive threats on the floor — an area of uncertainty for the Cats since losing Burton. With Brown’s ease on the court at Welsh-Ryan, it’s evident that her potential as an underclassman is soaring. With the first official game on Monday, Brown’s offensive performance must be top tier.

  1. Sophomore synergy on the floor is promising for a strong season

Thursday’s matchup against the Rangers showed one thing about the future of the Cats this season: the sophomore class has talent and promise. Alongside Brown, Weaver and Walsh played central roles for NU in the matchup, getting points on the board and making defensive stops. With most of the class getting time last season as freshmen, the group has shown their evolution. Heading into this year’s high stakes matchups, the sophomore contingent is arguably one of the deepest units for the purple and white.

  1. The Cats open the season up with Oregon Monday

The official 2022-23 season opens up for the Cats on Monday on the west coast with a highly anticipated game against No. 20 Oregon. Initially supposed to play each other last season, the matchup was canceled due to issues with COVID-19 last December. With this being both teams’ first meetings in a couple years, this is arguably one of the toughest games for NU this season before entering conference play. 

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