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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Rapid Recap: Penn State 76, Northwestern 65

Junior+forward+Caileigh+Walsh+looks+to+back+down+an+opponent+Thursday.
Aria Wozniak/Daily Senior Staffer
Junior forward Caileigh Walsh looks to back down an opponent Thursday.

Northwestern returned to Welsh-Ryan arena Thursday night for round two with Penn State, looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The Wildcats looked competitive for the first time in a couple of weeks, and coach Joe McKeown returned to the sidelines after missing six games with an undisclosed illness, but NU fell 76-65.

The two teams traded threes to start the game, with NU’s graduate student guard Maggie Pina answering Penn State’s Shay Ciezki to knot the game at three. The ‘Cats then edged in front 7-6, using some cutting and quick passing against the press to create two open layups.

Penn State then went on a 15-4 run to take a commanding lead. A second-quarter surge brought NU within 6 at halftime, and the ‘Cats took the lead in the third quarter off another Pina three. 

But the Nittany Lions’ ferocious pressing defense was ultimately too much for NU to handle. The ‘Cats couldn’t make the shots that counted late, sending them to their third straight defeat.  

Here are three takeaways from NU’s home loss to Penn State.

Takeaways

  1. The ‘Cats finally clawed back

With McKeown back on the sidelines, NU looked like a team with an identity. The Cats’ didn’t relent after Penn State went on a 15-4 run in the first quarter, or when key scorer Melannie Daley was removed from the game with four fouls in the third quarter. 

Instead, NU showed some resilience and desire. After embarrassing losses to Michigan State and Illinois, which got out of hand as the games wore on, the ‘Cats went basket for basket with Penn State at certain points in the third and fourth quarters

  1. Clutch shooting was lacking

The fact that NU’s fourth quarter scoring is even being discussed — after back-to-back blowout losses —  is a welcome sign.

 But the ‘Cats couldn’t make buckets in crunch time, letting the chance to close out what would have been their eighth win of the season slip away. After taking a one-point lead with just over eight minutes remaining, NU missed its next two shots, allowing the Nittany Lions to pull back in front. Penn State did not fall behind again. A missed three by junior guard Hailey Weaver, followed by a turnover, put the finishing touches on a hard fought win for the visitors.

  1. NU looks ahead to Indiana

The ‘Cats will look to snap their losing streak at Indiana Saturday. This is NU’s first battle with the Hoosiers this season.

After getting run out of the gym by Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes — who visit Welsh-Ryan Wednesday — in a prime-time game, Indiana has responded with back-to-back wins. The Hoosiers still have just two losses on the season and are second in the Big Ten standings.

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Twitter: @colincapece

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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern prepares for Penn State rematch

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

Rapid Recap: Michigan State 91, Northwestern 72

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