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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Rapid Recap: Northwestern 76, Southeast Missouri State 68

Daily file photo by Delilah Brumer
Junior forward Caileigh Walsh fights to get to the basket in a game earlier this season. Walsh scored a career-high 27 points in Northwestern’s win against Southeast Missouri State on Sunday.

After an unattractive first half, Northwestern managed to grind out a 76-68 win on Sunday against Southeast Missouri State in a game filled with turnovers and missed shots.

Junior forward Caileigh Walsh led the Wildcats (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) with a career-high of 27 against the Redhawks (1-3, 0-0 Ohio Valley) and junior guard Melannie Daley added 17 points, six rebounds and six assists.

From the jump, it was all Walsh for the ‘Cats. She scored 10 of NU’s first 12 points while her teammates shot a dismal one-for-five from the floor, turning the ball over five times. 

To end the first quarter, graduate student guard Maggie Pina drained a three to put NU up 25-16, capping off a seven-point run to give the ‘Cats their largest lead of the game. 

However, it went downhill from there.

The Redhawks answered with a run of their own, starting the second quarter with a five-minute 17-2 run. They outscored NU 24-9 in the second quarter and went into the half leading 40-34. 

Junior guard Hailey Weaver hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, sparking a six-point run to tie the game. Junior guard Melannie Daley then came alive, delivering 11 points and spurring NU to a powerful third quarter in which they outscored the Redhawks 25-12.

Taking a 59-52 lead into the fourth quarter, the ‘Cats didn’t look back. Though an 8-0 SEMO run cut the NU lead to 66-64 with four minutes remaining in the game, the ‘Cats went on an eight-point run in response to secure the victory. 

Here are three takeaways from from Sunday’s game:

1. Turnovers continue to be an issue for the ‘Cats

Coach Joe McKeown’s bunch had 21 turnovers against UIC, 20 versus Omaha and 25 against Notre Dame. 

Facing SEMO Sunday, NU had 20. 

Entering Sunday, the ‘Cats averaged 20.7 turnovers per game — tied for 298th in Division I basketball. The disappointing average is unquestionably one of the worst in the Big Ten. 

Although securing the victory, NU traveled, threw errant passes and committed silly mistakes to give the Redhawks more opportunities to score. If not for Daley’s jumper with 21 seconds left in the second quarter, the ‘Cats would have committed more turnovers (8) than they scored points in the quarter (9).

2. Walsh, Daley shine in win

Walsh led NU in scoring on Sunday, dropping a double-double with a career-high of 27 points and 14 rebounds. The ‘Cats’ leading scorer from the 2022-23 campaign shined from beyond the arc as well, making four of her seven three-point attempts. 

Daley stuffed the stat sheet, too. She scored 17 points in the win, generating 11 points in the third quarter and becoming instrumental in NU’s third quarter comeback. 

Entering Sunday’s contest, Daley averaged 19 points per game. The junior from Hastings, New York, who missed most of last season due to injury, has been a dangerous scorer for the ‘Cats so far this season. 

3. A tale of two halves

After an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame on Wednesday, the ‘Cats would’ve hoped to exert some of their frustrations onto the court in their next contest, especially against a smaller program like SEMO. A team that has struggled to get out to a strong start this season,  In fact, the Redhawks lost by 13 on Friday to UIC –– a team that NU beat in overtime to open their 2023-24 campaign. 

In the first half, however, it looked as though another disappointment was imminent. 

The ‘Cats looked like the worst team, taking low-percentage shots and committing turnover after turnover. They allowed wide-open looks for the Redhawks, who cashed in on their easy shots. Guard Jaliyah Green shot 70% from the field for SEMO in the first half, scoring 17 points. Guard Indiya Bowen added 12 points, shooting four-of-six from deep. 

NU, on the other hand, only shot 46% from the field.

In the second half, though, Daley came alive, as did Weaver. The ‘Cats attacked the paint, scoring 12 points from inside the purple. Weaver and Pina added an aerial attack from behind the arc  while Lau dished out eight assists. 

More importantly, the ‘Cats cut down on their turnovers. They turned the ball over six times in the second half in comparison to 14 in the first. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @HenryFrieman

Related Stories: 

Women’s Basketball: Northwestern’s lengthy scoring droughts contribute to 58-point defeat 

Rapid Recap: No. 16 Notre Dame 110, Northwestern 52

Women’s Basketball: Northwestern showed flashes of consistency on both ends in 18-point win over Omaha 

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