On Thursday night, the Northwestern women's basketball team played its third road game in the span of six days, and, well, it showed. The 'Cats (17-9, 6-7 B1G) trailed the Iowa Hawkeyes (16-10, 7-6 B1G) from virtually start to finish, falling 78-59 and falling out of a potential tie for sixth in the B1G all the way to the ninth slot.
NU fell behind 15-6 early, but clawed its way back in with a small 6-1 run to end the first quarter. The 'Cats got as close as 16-15 early in the second quarter, but were never able to pull any closer. The Hawkeyes held a comfortable 41-29 lead at halftime, kept up that same pace in the third quarter and easily put the game to bed in the fourth.
Per usual, on an otherwise unremarkable night for Northwestern that saw the 'Cats shoot just 31.1 percent from the field, Nia Coffey was the brightest spot. The senior star forward put up 21 points and was just three rebounds shy of another one of her patented double doubles. Ashley Deary played pretty well in her own right, too, putting up 12 points to go along with six assists and five steals. No other Wildcats managed more than seven points, and Christen Inman continued to struggle, not scoring and committing four fouls in 20 minutes on the floor.
Statistically, Iowa didn't light up the box score in many categories, but still surpassed NU in virtually all of them. The largest discrepancy was in the rebounding category, which the Hawkeyes won 51-37.
Since its next game is on Sunday, NU won't get the rest it so desperately needs. But for the first time in nearly two weeks, the 'Cats will get to play on their home floor, and have a somewhat easier task in facing an 8-18 Illinois team. That said, Sunday's contest will be NU's fourth in the span of nine days. For that reason alone, you may need to throw the records out in this one, and it's not because Illinois is an in-state rival. Northwestern has three regular season games remaining before the B1G Tournament starts on March 1 in Indianapolis.