Rutgers tried its very best to hang on, but a 10-minute scoring drought between the second and third quarters gifted Northwestern an important 55-37 win on the road.
It was not a pretty game of basketball, by any means. Both teams combined for 38 turnovers, yet Rutgers didn’t even break 40 points due to shooting 25 percent from the field. Nia Coffey only took 6 shots and scored a season-low 7 points, but the Wildcats were bailed out by Lauren Douglas, who led the team with 16. Amber Jamison, continuing her newfound status as a go-to player, hit two threes and added 10.
The first quarter was a choppy and inconclusive affair, as Rutgers took an early 4-0 lead with Northwestern not executing whatsoever on offense. However, a three from Jamison when Northwestern was down 14-7 woke the offense up slightly, and Northwestern was able to take that momentum into the second quarter.
Rutgers, on the other hand, just completely imploded on offense in the second. Northwestern’s good defense played a part, but no basketball team should fail to score for 10 minutes against any defense. Rutgers was stuck on 19 points for 10 minutes, and Northwestern took advantage. A 22-point third quarter really finished the game off for the Wildcats.
If Northwestern can keep its defensive intensity up down the stretch, it could be looking at an NCAA Tournament bid.
Northwestern will next face Wisconsin in Evanston on Wednesday, February 1st.