Last night, the Northwestern ladies defeated Minnesota 53-44, snapping an incredible streak of Big Ten tournament futility; they'd lost in the first round the previous TEN years. It certainly wasn't the prettiest of wins, as both teams had more turnovers than made field goals, but at this point, any Big Ten tourney win has to be cause for celebration.
According to a couple people in last night's game thread, NU still has an outside chance at an NCAA at-large bid, but they'll need to win tonight against Michigan State to have a chance, and that won't be easy. The Lady Spartans won the Big Ten regular season title, are 25-4, beat NU by 14 a couple weeks ago, and haven't lost to NU since 2003.
In order to get a win, NU will have to get dominant center Amy Jaeschke more involved in the offense. Against Minnesota, she was way bigger and more athletic than anyone guarding her, but NU kept chucking threes early in the shot clock or turning the ball over before Jaeschke could get touches in the post. At least, that's what I'm guessing they need to do, Michigan State may have a dominant big to match her inside, I'm not exactly an expert on woman's basketball.
Game's at 5 PM central on Big Ten Network. Join us.