‘Cats Come Up Short on Senior Night, Fall to Maryland

By Ally Navarrete

Northwestern women’s basketball (13-6, 11-6 Big Ten) fell to the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins (19-2, 14-1 Big Ten) 62-50 in a tense matchup Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Nevertheless, the team celebrated senior day, and the senior players’ families were allowed in the stands for the first time this season. 

The ‘Cats came within 12 points of the Terps and held them to just 62 points, an impressive feat given that the team averages 93.2 points per game with a +21 scoring margin. However, the Wildcats struggled to put the ball in the basket all afternoon.

Maryland jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but the ‘Cats closed the gap to make the score 16-12 by the end of the first quarter. Northwestern held the Terps within reach in the second quarter, scoring 14 points, nearly matching the Terps’ 15. 

The final minutes of the second quarter saw some of the most impressive plays of the game for Northwestern. Lindsey Pulliam hit a deep three, and on the following offensive possession, first-year Anna Morris fired a sharp bounce pass under the basket to find Veronica Burton for the shot. After these two plays, the ‘Cats seemed to have nothing but momentum to take them into the second half, and the lead was well within reach at 40-37.

While Maryland had an uncharacteristically poor offensive performance, the ‘Cats couldn’t find a way to capitalize. The third quarter saw the largest scoring disparity — a trend we’ve often seen in Northwestern’s losses this season — with the Terps coming out on top, 17-10. The Wildcats shot just 25% from the field in the second half and went 0-of-5 from the three in the fourth quarter. 

There were definitely highlights in today’s showing, especially on defense. Northwestern held Maryland’s Katie Benzan, who averages 15.3 points per game, to only five points, and Ashley Owusu, who averages 19.3, to just 10. First-year Anna Morris had a stand-out day when she was on the court, swatting away several shots and passes while also putting up six points.

Ultimately, the ‘Cats just couldn’t find their rhythm on offense and failed to come back and take down the top team in the Big Ten. Northwestern will look to avenge a brutal December loss to the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines in its final regular-season game Saturday, March 6.