The turtle has been feared. Northwestern women’s basketball (14-9, 7-5 B1G) played a disappointing game against #10 Maryland (21-2, 10-2 B1G) on Thursday night, losing 72-57. On the annual Play4Kay game hosted by Maryland, Northwestern donned matching pink for the second game in a row, but this time they were unable to come away with a victory.
The Wildcats were simply unable to keep up with one of the best teams in the country. They shot 32 percent from the floor in the first half, and trailed for nearly the entirety of the two quarters. The ‘Cats appeared lethargic, perhaps as a result of the Terrapins' swarming defense. After being outscored 22-8 in the first quarter, Northwestern shot 3 of 20 in the second quarter, and each field goal was directly followed by a Maryland score. The Terrapins demonstrated no intention of leaving open the possibility of a late-game Northwestern comeback – a trait that has characterized the Wildcats this season.
4:56 2Q | #Terps 33, Northwestern 14— Maryland Women’s Basketball (@umdwbb) February 8, 2019
Defense on 🔥 🔥
Northwestern first field goal in the first quarter: 5:46
Northwestern first field goal in the second quarter: 6:27#FearTheTurtlepic.twitter.com/tcZ3k93jkF
Still, Northwestern improved in the second half. Once the third quarter began the Wildcats moved the ball more effectively, with Veronica Burton (6 rebounds, 3 assists) and Abi Scheid taking control of the offense. Scheid (16 points) notched Northwestern’s first three-pointer of the game and Lindsey Pulliam got hot en route to her 22nd consecutive double-digit scoring game.
The Wildcats outscored the Terrapins 18-16 in the quarter. At this point, however, the game was out of reach.
Had the ‘Cats brought their second-half energy in from the start, they may have had a better chance at beating the top team in the Big Ten. However, even when the Terrapins lost their vigor and benched their starter, they still finished the game the a comfortable 15-point advantage.
Pulliam led all scorers with 18 points in the loss, though she recorded just one assist and no rebounds. Northwestern next plays on Sunday at Minnesota (16-7, 5-7 B1G), giving the ‘Cats a second chance to take down the Gophers after a disappointing loss a week ago.