by Callie Counsellor (@CCounsellor)
It wasn’t a perfect ending, but it was a special day nonetheless as coach Joe McKeown bid farewell to the first class he ever recruited.
Northwestern fell to Iowa, 62-45, on Senior Day, the last regular season home game for seniors Dannielle Diamant, Inesha Hale, Kate Popovic and Kendall Hackney.
On the other end of the spectrum, forward Maggie Lyon strengthened her resume for Big Ten Freshman of the Year with a twelfth-straight double-digit scoring day. She posted 10 points and added five rebounds.
Sophomore Karly Roser earned her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
NU (13-16, 5-11 Big Ten) matched Iowa (19-11, 8-8) for much of the first half, which included five lead changes. As the half neared break, however, the Hawkeyes took control.
Iowa guard Melissa Dixon put up eight points in the final 1:36 of the first half, including a layup at the buzzer, to give the Hawkeyes a 31-22 lead at the break.
The Cats did not make a basket until three minutes had passed in the second half, by which time Iowa had extended its lead to 14. NU’s customary comeback was not to be this time, as the Cats never came closer than eight points the rest of the way.
This loss marked the end of the regular season, but NU will head to the Big Ten Tournament this week in Hoffman Estates, IL. If the Cats can summon the power of revenge, they should be in good shape.
No. 10 seed NU will take on No. 7 seed Iowa in the first round, which takes place Thursday morning. The Cats beat the Hawkeyes earlier this season, a 67-65 upset on Feb. 3.