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Rapid Reaction: Northwestern dominates Purdue 80-67 on the road

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The scoreline doesn’t quite do NU’s performance justice.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Following a disappointing overtime loss to No. 23 Iowa, Northwestern (12-8, 4-5 B1G) defeated Purdue (13-9, 4-7 B1G) in dominant fashion, winning 80-67.

Veronica Burton led the way for the Wildcats, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting. She also added six rebounds, three assists and six steals. Additionally, Laya Hartman finished with 13 points while Lauryn Satterwhite and Caileigh Walsh each finished with 11 points.

Purdue’s Abbey Ellis got the scoring going to start the game, but Lauryn Satterwhite quickly replied with a two of her own. From there, Burton added a three and PU’s Rickie Woltman hit an and-one layup but missed the free throw to make the score 5-5. Satterwhite continued her hot start, sinking her first three of the game to make the score 8-5 at the first media timeout.

Coming out of the break, Ava Learn converted an and-one for the Boilermakers after being fouled by Jillian Brown. Purdue added another bucket before both teams went on an extensive scoring drought. The ‘Cats went nearly five minutes without a score before Walsh nailed a three. At the end of the first quarter, Northwestern led 13-10 despite shooting 5-for-16 from the field.

As the second quarter got going, Kaylah Rainey sank two free throws to extend NU’s lead to five. From there, the ‘Cats went on another scoring drought of two-plus minutes before Walsh hit a mid-range jumper to open things up. The scoring then continued back and forth, and at the second media timeout, the Wildcats led 21-19. Purdue had shot 4-for-5 heading into the break, which included an impressive layup from Ellis.

After the timeout, the Wildcats caught fire for a brief moment. First, Courtney Shaw made two free throws and a turnaround jumper. After that, Paige Mott added a layup from underneath the basket, and by the half, the ‘Cats led 35-22, ending the second quarter on a 14-4 run.

Scoring continued at a quick pace to begin the second half. Woltman made a layup to cut Northwestern’s lead to 11, but Satterwhite soon replied with another three. The Boilermaker weren’t slowing down, though, as Ellis sunk a jumper and Cassidy Hardin drained a three to cut NU’s lead back to single digits. NU added two more points on free throws from Walsh to go up 11.

Soon, however, the scoring slowed. At the first media timeout of the third quarter, the Wildcats had made just two of their last eight shots. Meanwhile, the Boilermakers were on a three-plus minute scoring drought of their own. Hartman broke the Wildcats’ cold streak with a mid-range jumper after the break, putting the visitors up 46-29. As the quarter wound down, the scoring went back and forth, but Northwestern maintained a 16-point advantage entering the final frame. Burton tallied eight points in the third quarter, shooting 3-for-3 from the floor and 2-for-3 at the charity stripe.

As the fourth quarter began, the Wildcats managed to extend their lead to 20 points via layups from Burton and Hartman. At that point, Purdue called timeout, and after the break, Jayla Smith drained a three to bring Northwestern’s lead back down to 17. Burton responded with an easy jumper, but then Smith hit another three, her second in just under a minute.

The quarter continued, and Burton continued her dominance, converting an and-one to make Northwestern’s lead 19, before hitting a nice driving layup to keep the lead there. With 4:54 to play, Northwestern led 67-48 and all signs pointed to the ‘Cats cruising to a win.

As time wound down, those signs were confirmed. While the Boilermakers did close the gap a bit by way of a few Wildcat turnovers, NU managed to close the game out with ease, leaving West Lafayette with a 80-67 victory.

The ‘Cats return to action on Sunday when they travel to State College to take on Penn State at 1 p.m. CT.