WBB: Wildcats Drop Mid-Week Matchup With Penn State 73-54
By: Caleigh Ryan
The Northwestern Wildcats (14–13, 3-12) lost their fourth game in a row Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena against Penn State, 73-54. With the loss to the Lions, Northwestern Head Coach Joe McKeown fell to 0-20 all-time against Penn State, dating back to his time at George Washington previous to Northwestern.
Nia Coffey led all Northwestern scorers with 14 points, followed closely by Maggie Lyon with 13.
The name of the game was turnovers – with 14 being committed in the first quarter, 7 by each team. The Nittany Lions led for 95% of the game, with the Cats’ last lead coming at a score of 7 – 5 in the first quarter.
“[The turnovers] came in all varieties, all flavors,” said McKeown. “They came from everywhere, even from really good passers.”
Penn State’s Lindsey Spann went 4 – 4 from three through the first 10 minutes to give the Lady Lions a sizable lead. She would finish with a game-high 18 points.
Northwestern came out on fire after the halftime break, scoring the first five points of the quarter. Lyon hit two early threes back-to-back. A Nia Coffey three followed which cut the deficit to 17 points.
Late in the contest, Coffey shot a mid-range shot, one she’s made 1,000 times, only to have the ball roll around the rim and out – a moment that summarized the disappointing entirety of the game.
Penn State would lead by as much as 25 during the fourth quarter. The Nittany Lions shot a blistering 63.6% from three-point range, compared to the 40% by the Cats. Additionally, Northwestern was out-rebounded 37 – 23, allowing Penn State to get extra possessions and chances.
“They made shots at important times,” said McKeown. “Sometimes the stats can be deceiving.”
“We are a competitive team, we have a lot of seniors,” said McKeown of the disheartening loss. “As frustrating as it is, we have a winning record.”
The Wildcats are back in action Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in a matchup of two teams stuck near the bottom of the Big Ten standings.
Coach McKeown only had one thing to say about that game – “Beat Wisconsin.”
As always, you can hear that game, which tips at 1:00 CT, and all Northwestern women’s basketball games, right here at WNUR Sports.