EVANSTON, Illinois — In a massive letdown for a reeling Northwestern team, the Wildcats (4-2, 2-2 B1G) dropped their second straight conference game in an 84-63 blowout loss to No. 16 Michigan (7-0, 2-0 B1G) on Sunday.
Sydney Wood and Lindsey Pulliam carried the Wildcats, posting 17 and 14 points each, but their efforts were far from enough to take down the dominant Wolverines.
Michigan’s Naz Hillmon and Leigha Brown were simply unstoppable. Hillmon scored 26 points and hauled in 12 boards while Brown dropped 22 on a near-flawless 8-of-10 shooting performance, including 4-of-5 from three. The Wolverines shot an impressive 63% from the field and 62% from behind the arc while the Wildcats struggled to hit again, connecting on just 31% of their shots.
Northwestern’s offense came out of the gate sluggish, to say the least. While Wood led the way with eight points, the rest of the team shot a combined 2-for-10 and missed twice from three. Veronica Burton, whose contributions normally help propel the Wildcats’ offense, missed her only shot of the quarter and was held scoreless and steal-less in the first half on 0-of-5 shooting.
The Wildcats had no answer for the Michigan offense in the first quarter, though the Wolverines did their part by shooting 83%, including a perfect 6-for-6 from three. A shoulder injury to Courtney Shaw did nothing to help the Wildcats’ struggles defending in the post, as Michigan didn't look back from an early 10-0 run and took a 28-13 lead after one.
Things didn’t improve much in the second despite Shaw’s return to the floor. Michigan’s Hillmon and Brown both recorded 20 first-half points, with Hillmon shooting 8-of-10 and dominating Northwestern’s undersized lineup.
Despite Pulliam doing everything in her power to wake the Wildcat offense up, recording 11 points in the half, NU shot an abysmal 26%, 20% from three and committed eight fouls along the way, staring at a 55-26 deficit at the break.
A sloppy second half supplied little life to Northwestern, with the Michigan lead reaching as much as 35. The Wildcats faced their first 30-point deficit since 2018 when they trailed Ohio State 59-29. However, they improved, outscoring Michigan 20-16 in the third and winning the overall turnover battle 20-6.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, as Michigan maintained its massive lead over Northwestern's subs to send the Wildcats into a two-game slide.
Northwestern will look to get back on track as they travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin (3-4, 0-4 B1G) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. CST.