EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern battled Wisconsin toe-to-toe through three-and-a-half quarters before pulling away with a 12-0 run late to secure a 69-60 win at historic Beardsley Gym on Thursday night.
The Wildcats improved to 9-10 on the season and 2-3 in the Big Ten while the Badgers dropped to 7-11, remaining winless at 0-5 in conference play. Head coach Joe McKeown won his eighth straight game against Wisconsin.
Jordan Hamilton recorded a career-high 22 points, shooting 6-8 from the field and 6-7 from the charity stripe. The first year added five assists as well.
Abi Scheid had her fingerprints all over the box score with 13 points and seven assists, tied for her career-high. She also added a career-high three blocks and three rebounds.
Pallas Kunayi-Akpanah notched her tenth double-double of the season with 11 points and 17 rebounds, the second-highest mark of the season.
Sophomore Byrdy Galernik added six points and five assists while Bry Hopkins tallied seven points herself.
The Wildcats shot 49% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. Northwestern out-rebounded the Badgers 36-23 and prevented them from bringing down any boards in the fourth quarter.
Suzanne Gilreath was the best player for the visitors, scoring 17 on a scorching 5-5 night from downtown.
Northwestern led 12-11 after the first quarter in a slugfest, when both teams combined to shoot 9-26. No player had more than one made field goal.
Wisconsin rode a 8-0 run in the second quarter to take a 30-25 lead into halftime. Gilreath led the Badgers with 11 points on a perfect 4-4 line from the field.
Lindsey Pulliam picked up two early fouls and only played 7 minutes in the half, taking no shots. Accordingly, the Wildcats spent most of the half in three-big lineups featuring Abi Scheid at the 3 and Abbie Wolf at the 4. Jordan Hamilton was on fire in the first half from deep, shooting 3-3 from behind the arc with a four-point play. Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah also tallied five rebounds in the half.
The Wildcats came out firing to start the third quarter and tied the game at 35-35. They outscored the visitors 21-14 in the frame to take a 46-44 into the fourth.
The two teams traded blows down the stretch, with Scheid and Gilreath carrying the load in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats put the Badgers away with a 12-0 run featuring five points from Bry Hopkins and four from Jordan Hamilton.
Northwestern has this weekend off and is back in action next Thursday, Jan. 18 on the road at Mackey Arena to face the 11-7 Purdue Boilermakers.