After more than a week off, Northwestern and Nia Coffey played 40 minutes of sluggish basketball in Ann Arbor.
Northwestern (15-5, 4-3 B1G), came into Wednesday’s matchup with Michigan (17-5, 6-2 B1G) on a two-game winning streak and with some buzz in the polls. However, the Wildcats proved no match for the Wolverines. Michigan tore through Northwestern’s defense and romped to a 26-point win.
Northwestern went down 10-2 five minutes into the first quarter and never recovered. The offense sputtered due to a 6-20 night from the field for Nia Coffey and Christen Inman being out again due to injury. While Amber Jamison continued to impress with a 16-point night and was once again the team’s best offensive player, the rest of the team struggled. At the half, Northwestern had mustered just 19 points and was down by 22.
Northwestern missed free throws, committed multiple three-second violations, and was badly beaten on the boards. Coffey turned the ball over seven times on her own, and Northwestern ended the game with a disappointing 19 turnovers as a team.
Michigan had no trouble scoring as Katelynn Flaherty and Kysre Gondrezick both scored 20 or more and Hallie Thome picked up 18. Northwestern was again vulnerable to the three-point shot as Gondrezick knocked down 6 of her 10 three-points attempts and Michigan as a team went 12-of-28 from beyond the arc.
The second half was a processional affair as Michigan easily held off any attempts at a Northwestern rally. Coffey, coming off a poor game against Michigan State, racked up some points in garbage time, but it made no difference on the result.
Northwestern could have really used a road win against a good Michigan team, but it was always going to be tough. Michigan remains undefeated at home in 2016-17, and Northwestern will have to wait to bolster its NCAA Tournament résumé until its trip to Piscataway. Northwestern plays Rutgers at 1 p.m. Sunday.