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Northwestern women’s basketball squanders early lead, falls to DePaul 92-63

This was a tough one.

It started out so well. Northwestern finally looked at home at Beardsley Gym. The team was defending with absurd intensity. The future of Northwestern women’s basketball could not have been brighter. Against a solid DePaul (7-3) team, Northwestern (6-5) had jumped out to a 20-2 lead.

It didn’t last. DePaul responded with an 18-2 run of its own and made it a four-point game by halftime. In the third quarter, DePaul outscored Northwestern 41-9, which is bad. The game eventually ended in a 29-point blowout for the Blue Demons, which is crazy considering they were down 18 after 7 minutes. DePaul has won this matchup in three successive years, each time with a crushing second half performance.

Lindsey Pulliam continued to pour on the points, scoring 14 in her first experience in the crosstown rivalry. But late in the game she started forcing up shots, leading to an efficient night from the field. Abi Scheid had 14 of her own along with 5 boards and a block. DePaul had six players who scored in double-digits and shot 38 threes. First year point guard Jordan Hamilton left the game with a lower body injury and her status is questionable.

I thought I was going to have a lot of takeaways for this game at halftime, but the 41-9 third quarter invalidated everything. Northwestern falls to 5-4 and has now missed out on all of its chances to get a top-notch non-conference win. That’s to be expected with this young team, but they have shown so many flashes of brilliance this season (@ Syracuse, Oakland, the beginning of this game) that the lack of losses still feels bitter.