By: Jake Liker
Iowa extended Northwestern’s losing streak to seven games Sunday with their 70-61 victory over the Wildcats.
For much of the game the ‘Cats kept things just close enough for discomfort, but the Hawkeyes always managed to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length. Northwestern Head Coach Joe McKeown lamented Iowa’s ability to make shots at critical points in the game, which killed Northwestern’s momentum whenever they pulled within a basket of making it a two-possession game.
McKeown especially rued the Wildcats’ missed opportunities –– they forced 20 turnovers for the first time in conference play this season, but generated only 15 points off said turnovers.
“We just couldn’t capitalize,” McKeown said.
Iowa shot 57 percent from the field, led by Megan Gustafson, who knocked down 10 of her 12 shots and ended the day with 25 points and 16 rebounds.
For Northwestern, Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah posted an impressive statline of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 8 steals. Sunday’s performance from Kunaiyi-Akpanah continued her ascent in the Northwestern record books, moving up to 6th in school history for rebounds in a single season (291), and into a tie for fifth for double-doubles in a single season (14).
However, most other numbers paint a bleaker picture for Northwestern. They fall to 9-17 overall and 2-10 in Big Ten play, but their record is not indicative of their effort.
“These guys are playing really hard out there,” McKeown said. “And I hope people respect that.”
The ‘Cats will hit the road on Wednesday as they head to University Park to take on Penn State (14-12, 5-8 Big Ten). Matt McHugh and Parker Johnson will have the call on 89.3 FM and wnursports.com at 5:45 CT.