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The Daily Northwestern

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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: Michigan 74, Northwestern 60

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Sammy Krimstein/The Daily Northwestern
Junior guard Melannie Daley surveys her options from beyond the arc.

On the heels of a lopsided loss at Nebraska, Northwestern returned to friendly territory looking to regroup in its penultimate home game against Michigan Saturday. 

Despite finding themselves in an early 7-0 hole after four scoreless possessions, the Wildcats (8-19, 3-13 Big Ten) managed to claw their way back into contention after junior forward Caileigh Walsh nailed back-to-back treys. 

In a low-scoring first quarter affair that saw both NU and its opponents shooting less than 30% from the field, coach Joe McKeown’s squad ended the first frame down by just two points. 

A back-and-forth second quarter saw momentum shift sides on several occasions before a chaotic high-scoring second half ensued. 

The Wolverines mounted a 17-0 scoring run to start the third quarter, ballooning their lead to a game-high 19 points before NU answered with a 15-0 run of its own. 

Despite a valiant comeback effort, the ‘Cats were unable to secure the victory and ultimately fell 74-60.

Here are three takeaways from NU’s loss to Michigan:

1. A tale of two second-half scoring runs

The ‘Cats entered intermission down by just two points. Less than three minutes later, the deficit neared the 20-point mark.

In a dramatic shift, Michigan started the second half with a commanding 17-0 scoring spree that seemed to sour any hopes of an NU victory

After nearly identical performances in both the first and second quarters, the ‘Cats were outscored by 14 points in the third frame, but came back in the final period with a 15-0 run of their own.

A dominant performance on both sides of the court sent the Wolverines on a near-seven-minute scoring drought beginning with two minutes left in the third quarter.

2. First half fouls spark early changes to the rotation

With no semblance of a consistent starting five, NU has relied heavily on production off the bench all season. 

Traditional role players like junior forward Mercy Ademusayo and sophomore forward Alana Goodchild have seen increasing playing time throughout the season, including early minutes in Saturday’s contest due to early foul trouble. 

Walsh and senior forward Paige Mott each garnered two quick personal fouls, leading to them spending a considerable portion of the opening half on the bench.

In an all-hands-on-deck effort, twelve players saw first-half minutes and the team accumulated 25 points off the bench.

3. Caileigh Walsh’s dominates the first half

With McKeown’s squad seemingly succumbing to its familiar first quarter shooting woes, a wide open Walsh stepped back, set her feet and drained a three, sparking the beginning of the ‘Cats’ comeback from an early hole. 

Renowned for her dominant physical presence and fierce battles in the paint, Walsh unexpectedly showcased her skills from long range, sinking three treys in the opening half. 

In just 10 first-half minutes Walsh notched 12 of the team’s 28 points on a 4-of-7 shooting clip. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @AudreyPachuta

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