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: No. 3 Iowa 110, Northwestern 74

Alyce Brown/Daily Senior Staffer
Senior guard Jasmine McWilliams drives inside against Iowa Wednesday.

In the first-ever women’s basketball sell-out game at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Northwestern faced an extremely tough test in reigning national player of the year Caitlin Clark and No. 3 Iowa.

The Hawkeyes (20-2, 9-1 Big Ten) defeated the Wildcats (7-14, 2-8 Big Ten) 110-74, extending NU’s losing streak to five games. Just days after falling to No. 14 Indiana by 41 points, NU’s conference slate only got more difficult.

To open the game, the ‘Cats won the tip, starting a back-and-forth first quarter. Kicking off, junior forward Caileigh Walsh raced down the court, draining a three from behind the arc.

As the quarter progressed, the NU defense was different than seen in any other game, but possibly too rough — gaining the Wildcats seven fouls in the first period.

After the media timeout, the ‘Cats were within striking distance, with its bench holding ten of the host’s 15 points. Up until the final minute of the first, the largest lead was five, but Iowa forward Addison O’Grady’s layup and two Clark free throws pushed the Hawkeyes to a 24-15 lead after the first frame.

The second quarter proved to be more of the expectation of a game between the No. 2 team and the No. 13  in the Big Ten. Iowa took control of the game quickly, shooting 47% from the field to the ‘Cats 36%. 

Something out of character for NU in the second quarter was its poor free-throw shooting. The ‘Cats lead the Big Ten in average free throw percentage at 78.8%, but the team shot 4-7 at the charity line.

At the half, Iowa held the lead 47-32, proving its place as the third-best team in the country. Trying to gain some momentum, NU matched Iowa’s quick pace but only found missed shots and lost boards.

Closing out the third quarter on a sour note, the ‘Cats leading scorer Walsh fouled out for the fifth time this season during the ‘Cats’ three-minute scoring drought.

The final quarter was all Iowa, Clark reaching a 35 point double-double while the hots mustered 16 points finalizing another loss.

Here are three takeaways from NU’s home loss Wednesday.

  1. The ‘Cats have a defensive presence, but they need to channel it more

As the highly anticipated match opened, fans were on the edge of their seats watching junior guard Hailey Weaver hold down Clark in the first few possessions. Weaver wasn’t the only leader on the defense, as Walsh showed plenty of grit despite her lackluster stat line.

This isn’t the only time that NU has shown a defensive fight. In their loss against Penn State, the ‘Cats held the best offense behind Iowa to 76 points and stayed in the game until the final minutes.

  1. NU’s biggest weakness is foul trouble

By the end of the first quarter, the ‘Cats had already gathered seven fouls in comparison to the Hawkeyes one. In the last four matches, the ‘Cats have collected at least 14 fouls, this battle no different with 24. 

  1. NU has a chance to end the losing streak against Wisconsin

In its most recent conference win the Wildcats beat the Badgers 74-69 in a battle on the road. Coming up on Sunday, NU can get their third conference win, exceeding last year’s total with seven games left to play. 

The ‘Cats haven’t won a game since the teams faced off, while Wisconsin has gone 2-2. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @taylorhancock23

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