Rapid Recap: Rutgers 61, Northwestern 59

Following a brutal double-overtime loss to Minnesota on Sunday, the Northwestern women lost another heartbreaker on Wednesday night. Tyler Scaife’s last-second breakaway layup gave Rutgers a 61-59 victory at the RAC, sending NU to its second straight defeat and a 3-10 conference record. Here are a few quick takeaways from the game:

  • Once again, the game came down to the fourth quarter for the ‘Cats. And once again, the final minutes were a disaster. Northwestern led by five with under two minutes remaining and by three with just 12 seconds to play, only to watch both leads slip away in regulation time.
  • The deciding play came when Nia Coffey drove to the basket, only to have her shot blocked by Rachel Hollivay (who had six blocks in the contest). That led to a transition bucket by Scaife with two seconds remaining, sinking the ‘Cats.
  • Briyona Canty came up with a big-time three pointer to tie the game at 59 with 11 seconds to go. Lyon had given the ‘Cats the lead with a triple of her own moments before.
  • Northwestern’s postseason hopes took another big hit, quite possibly the nail in the coffin. Rutgers is another middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team that Northwestern needed to beat in order to help its resume. As the end of the season approaches, the Wildcats won’t get many more chances to do that.
  • Unlike the Minnesota game where defense was at a premium, both teams struggled to put points on the board in this one. Northwestern shot 36.9 percent from the floor while going a respectable 41.7 percent from three. Rutgers was in the same neighborhood, shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from deep. For perspective, Northwestern eclipsed 59 points with more than two minutes to go in the third quarter on Sunday.
  • Free throw woes also were a factor for Northwestern, as the team attempted only seven free throws and made only four (57.1 percent).
  • Unsurprisingly, Rutgers’ offense was almost exclusively split between its two best players, Scaife (24 points) and Kahleah Copper (20 points). Canty, Hollivay and Khadaizha Sanders were the only other Scarlet Knights to score in the game.
  • Three significant career milestones came for Wildcat players on Wednesday night. Lyon moved into ninth place in points in program history by surpassing 1,600 in her career, while Coffey and Christen Inman hit 1,500 and 1,000 career points, respectively.
  • Lydia Rhode and Allie Tuttle saw considerable minutes against the Gophers, but neither saw the floor in Piscataway. Maya Jonas and Amber Jamison were the only Northwestern reserves to make an appearance.
  • Northwestern’s next game is this Sunday, when the Wildcats host Maryland. The Terrapins currently sit at 21-3 and 10-2 in conference play, good for second in the Big Ten.

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