by Callie Counsellor (@CCounsellor)
Northwestern is used to slow starts, scoring six less points per game in the first half of games this season. However, Sunday’s slow start lasted the whole game for the Wildcats, leading to an 89-61 defeat against DePaul.
Both teams began slowly on offense—Northwestern started 2-7 and DePaul started 1-7—but the Blue Demons went on a 12-0 run in the middle of the first half to establish a solid lead that would only grow throughout the rest of the game.
DePaul (6-2) succeeded by sharing the scoring burden, with five players reaching double figures, led by sophomore guard Megan Rogowski who had 22 points. NU (6-1) was again led by freshman forward Maggie Lyon, with 15 points. The Blue Demons spread the ball around with 23 assists, while NU, who leads the Big Ten with 19 assists per game, tallied only 14.
The Cats didn’t help their own cause, turning the ball over 19 times which led to 15 points for the Blue Demons. DePaul also dominated the boards, grabbing 51 rebounds to the Cats 38, including 20 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second-chance points for DePaul.
By halftime, the Blue Demons had nearly doubled up the Cats, 48-25. After halftime, NU never came within 21 and trailed at one point by 34 points.
Every time the Cats made a push, the Blue Demons had an answer. With 13 minutes left in the second half, senior center Dannielle Diamant made a layup. Freshman Lauren Douglas then followed with a layup of her own and drew a foul. The forward sank the free throw to bring the Cats within 21, the closest they had been since the last minute of the first half. DePaul responded by running off 12 straight points to quell any lingering thoughts of an NU comeback.
After dropping their first game of the season, the Cats will look to get back on the winning track against Illinois State (4-2). The Redbirds already lost to a Big Ten team this season, falling to Iowa 74-64. They take on Michigan Wednesday before welcoming NU on Friday.