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

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

The Daily Northwestern

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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern falls to Michigan State in road rout

Daily file photo by Rachel Spears
Graduate student guard Maggie Pina plays defense against Ohio State Jan. 5 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Three days removed from a home blowout loss to in-state rival Illinois, Northwestern hit the road for a Wednesday conference matchup against Michigan State, looking to put recent struggles in the rearview mirror.

However, a poor defensive performance from the Wildcats (7-11, 2-5 Big Ten) allowed the Spartans (13-4, 3-3 Big Ten) to put on an offensive clinic in a dominant 91-72 victory. 

NU was outplayed from the start after Michigan State went on an early 10-0 run and never let its foot off the gas pedal, making it hard for the visitors to chip away at the lead.

Plagued by early turnovers, the ’Cats suffered poor offensive production and held a 10-point deficit entering the second quarter.

NU’s offensive drought persisted when its first points of the ensuing frame took nearly four minutes, allowing the Spartans to extend their lead to 20 points midway through the second quarter.

Michigan State’s second quarter 3-point production provided a clear boost, as the hosts shot 54.5% on 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range compared to the ’Cats’ 25% shooting percentage on a 1-of-4 clip from 3-point range.

NU went into the locker room down 50-28, and the ’Cats had a ways to go if they wanted any chance at making a comeback in the second half of game action.

Coming out of the break, the ’Cats appeared to be the aggressors on the offensive side of the ball, tightening up on possessions and reading the floor to take advantage of previously missed opportunities.

Junior guard Hailey Weaver handed the ’Cats a scoring boost in the third quarter, scoring eight points on a near-perfect streak from the field, which included two 3-pointers.

The visitors launched a 10-2 run to close out the third quarter, leaving NU’s comeback window slightly ajar heading into crunch time.

Although a quick Spartan run staunchly shut any hopes of an upset early in the fourth quarter, the ’Cats remained poised to close out the game on a high note.

Junior guard Melannie Daley produced her best quarter of the game, scoring 10 points in the period. She eventually finished the night with 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field.

Weaver also turned in significant contributions for the ’Cats, shooting 5-8 from the field, including three 3-pointers. However, the Spartans’ tempo and aggression overpowered NU, throwing the ’Cats into a rhythmic funk.  

NU concedes an average of 80.8 points per game and now ranks among the bottom 10 teams nationally in this standpoint. 

The ’Cats will now head back home where they will have more than a week to prepare for another Big Ten matchup against Penn State next Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Gabriella_Egozi

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