It was an ugly one for Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats (7-13, 2-7 B1G) fell 100-59 to No. 14 Indiana (17-2, 7-1 B1G) at Assembly Hall in a game where Northwestern never held a single lead. IU had six players in double figures while the ‘Cats only had two.
From the start of the game, the ‘Cats faced immense difficulties finding a way to score, as they only managed to put a mere two points on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter.
The Wildcats’ offensive struggles persisted throughout the game, particularly from beyond the arc. The ‘Cats went into the fourth quarter without a single make from deep, but they drained four threes in garbage time to avoid a blank sheet.
Another trend that continued throughout the game was the dominance of the Hoosiers’ All-American Mackenzie Holmes. She scored the first eight points of the contest and finished her afternoon with a stellar stat line of 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Holmes posed significant challenges for the ‘Cats from the free-throw line, finding ways to draw fouls and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the line. Collectively, the Hoosiers went 19-of-21 from the charity stripe. This proficiency from the free-throw line, along with a whole litany of reasons, was a crucial factor in Indiana’s decisive victory.
While it was mostly the Holmes show on Sunday, IU received substantial support from her teammates. Israeli native Yarden Garzon had a strong outing, putting up 15 points and five rebounds.
One of the lone bright spots for the ‘Cats on Sunday was Melannie Daley, who came off the bench and provided a breath of fresh air to the struggling offense. She scored 16 points, the team’s high.
On the other hand, it was a challenging game for Caileigh Walsh, NU’s leading scorer this year. Walsh faced significant difficulties putting the ball in the basket against Indiana’s suffocating defense, managing to score seven points on 2-of-5 shooting. The Wildcats’ offense sorely missed her production on Sunday, as they struggled to find ways to score down low for the majority of the game.
The Hoosiers’ defense was tremendous, making life difficult for the ‘Cats. Indiana forced NU out of their comfort zone and caused Northwestern to be sloppy with the basketball. The Wildcats committed 17 turnovers, leading to 23 points for the Hoosiers.
Northwestern turns its attention to No. 5 Iowa, who travel to a sold-out Welsh-Ryan Arena on Wednesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be streamed on Peacock.