Photo by Reggie Edwards
The Northwestern Wildcats traveled down interstate 65 to take on the Indiana Hoosiers in a battle at the top of the B1G rankings. Both teams came in 4-1 in the conference and 14-2 overall. Hoosiers are averaging 76 points per game while Northwestern averages 68 points per game. Defensively coming into this game both teams allow between 66-63 points per game on average. Both teams had lost to Iowa as well, and is their lone loss in conference until tonight.
IU got off to a rough start and found themselves down 11 -2 with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter. The hoosiers just couldn’t find any easy or open shots, and the few that they did find just would roll in. While the Wildcast used their size to score inside much of the 1st quarter. A big and shot inside with the foul on Mackenzie Holmes got the Indiana crowd on their feet. With that Northwestern held strong. Wildcats led at the end of the 1st 17-11 after a buzzer beater shot by IU.
The 2nd quarter IU found their stride and their game plan started working. Attacking inside to get higher percentage baskets and drawing fouls, got the game tied for the Hoosiers with just under 5 left in the half. IU took the lead for the 1st time in the game a minute later and followed that up with a steal and basket by Patburg. Mackenzie Holmes kept on a roll and finished the half with 11 points. The Hoosiers closed out the half hot on both ends of the court and lead 31-24.
The Hoosiers carried their momentum through halftime and came out rolling to start the 2nd half. They stuck to their plan and moved the ball inside easily on transitions and created open shots when they set up at half court. Luckily for IU the Wildcats couldn’t get the ball to roll in. They had plenty of easy inside and 2nd chance baskets that just didn’t fall. This allowed Indiana to finish the 3rd quarter up 10 points with the score 51-41.
The 4th quarter was dominated by Northwestern. Something just clicked with them and scoring became easy. They trailed or were tied most of the quarter. Hoosiers just couldn’t pull it together to close out the game which was very reminiscent of the Iowa game. Northwestern tied up the game at 64 and the Hoosiers missed on their final possession. Wildcats moved the ball down court and inside easily but missed the inside basket and this game went to overtime with a score of 64-64.
Overtime started with IU fouling the Wildcats early but they only made 1 free throw. Iu drove down the court and scored with a mid range jumper. The Hoosiers moved the ball inside and got a big and one basket which put them up by 4, but a big 3 by Northwestern with a minute left and a foul with 30 seconds left helped put the Wildcats up by 1. Grace Berger had a clean look with 14 seconds left but missed. Then comes the foul/ turnover game, but it fell in IU’s favor ultimately. Northwestern missed their 2nd free throw attempt with the score 71-69. This gave IU with 1 more chance and 12 seconds left Patburg had it stolen away. Northwestern takes this close battle.