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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: No. 14 Indiana 84, Northwestern 64

Rose Carlson/The Daily Northwestern
Freshman guard Freshman Casey Harter looks to advance the ball up the court Tuesday.

Looking to avenge –– or, at least, certainly not replicate –– a 100-59 January drubbing from No. 14 Indiana, Northwestern took their home court for the final time in the 2023-24 campaign.

Though the game remained relatively close throughout the first half, a monstrous third quarter propelled the Hoosiers (23-4, 13-3 Big Ten) to an 84-64 victory over the Wildcats (8-20, 3-14 Big Ten).

Indiana caught fire from beyond the arc early, drilling two triples to jump out to a 6-2 lead. Junior forward Caileigh Walsh scored two post-hook shots to cut the lead to 6-4 before Hoosier forward Mackenzie Holmes went to work, scoring two straight baskets as the visitors extended their lead.

Facing a 13-4 deficit, junior guard Melannie Daley halted the 7-0 Hoosier run by going on a 6-2 run of her own, cutting the score to 15-10 Indiana. Daley scored 24 points off the bench Tuesday.

The ‘Cats ended the first quarter down five points, a marked improvement compared to last January’s contest, but a 7-2 Indiana run to start the second quarter caused coach Joe McKeown to call a timeout with his team trailing the Hoosiers by 10.

The deficit remained at 10 points for most of the second quarter, largely thanks to Daley. She scored eight of NU’s 12 second-quarter points. The ‘Cats stood firm defensively, holding the Hoosiers to just 17 points and forcing five turnovers. 

With three seconds left in the first half, junior forward Mercy Ademusayo tapped in a second-chance layup to send the teams to the locker room with a 43-33 Indiana lead. 

Indiana began the third quarter on a 10-4 run, prompting McKeown to call timeout and reset his team with 7:14 remaining.

 It didn’t change much. 

A three-minute-plus ‘Cats scoring drought and a pair of buckets by Holmes put NU down by 20. The Hoosiers outscored the ‘Cats 28-12 in the third quarter, leaving Indiana firmly in the driver’s seat for the final 10 minutes. 

Here are three takeaways from NU’s Tuesday loss to Indiana:

  1. Daley vs. Holmes… a heavyweight bout

The ‘Cats knew going in it would be tough to guard Holmes, Indiana’s all-time leading scorer and star player.

Not many expected Daley to match her offensive output. 

Daley scored nearly half of NU’s first-half points, making 8-of-12 shots from the field and tallying 16 points. Though there were some layups, most of her points came from her patented midrange jumper.

On the other end, Indiana’s No. 54 was cooking. By the first quarter’s five-minute mark, Holmes had four points and four rebounds. She had eight points and five boards by the end of the frame.

In the first half, Holmes shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, adding seven rebounds in the process. She did so in a mere 14 minutes.

With two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Daley drove on Holmes and scored with a contested layup. But Holmes’s point total soared past that of Daley’s, as the Gorham, Maine native poured in 12 third-quarter points to put her tally at 28. She spent the fourth quarter on the bench. 

Holmes is one of the conference’s top players, and she finished with an All-Big Ten recognition-deserving stat line: 28 points on 12-for-13 shooting, adding nine rebounds and two assists.

Daley also stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 24 points on 66% shooting. She played 35 minutes. 

  1. Senior shoutouts

Tuesday was Senior Day at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Before tip-off, senior forwards Paige Mott and Jasmine McWilliams –– as well as graduate student guard Maggie Pina –– were honored with a pregame ceremony replete with a video board message from their fellow ‘Cats and framed commemorative jerseys for each. 

As a violin cover of Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” rained down from the arena speakers, each senior walked through a tunnel of their teammates, flanked with family members on each arm.

Pina, who scored her 1,000th point against Wisconsin on Jan. 10, has appeared in all 28 of NU’s contests this year, starting in seven. The transfer from Boston University has averaged 5.9 points per game, proving a potent threat from beyond the arc. She did not score in Tuesday’s contest but had four rebounds and an assist.

McWilliams, who started Tuesday’s matchup alongside Mott and Pina, has also appeared in all 28 games. She scored two points and added three rebounds. 

The last senior to take the court pregame was Mott. The forward from Philadelphia has been an instrumental part of NU’s campaign this year, averaging eight points per game and five rebounds per game. Mott tallied a career-high 20 rebounds in the season opener against UIC and has started all but three ‘Cats games this season. Mott scored eight points and created five assists Tuesday. 

McWilliams and Mott were subbed out with three minutes remaining to an ovation, receiving hugs and applause from the NU bench. 

  1. The season nears an end

This was NU’s final home game, capping off a 6-8 record at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The ‘Cats will head to Rutgers on Sunday to conclude the regular season before heading to Minneapolis for the women’s Big Ten tournament on March 6.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @HenryFrieman

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Women’s Basketball: Caileigh Walsh shines despite Northwestern’s loss to Michigan

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