"To have 18 turnovers in a half, we average less than that a game," said NU head coach Joe McKeown. "That was the difference [in this game.]"
McKeown called it "a tale of two halves," as the second half featured a Northwestern rally that cut Michigan's lead to just one point with 8:32 remaining.
"We made it a point at halftime that 18 turnovers was not acceptable," said forward Danielle Diamant.
But a couple buckets from Michigan reserve Sam Arnold opened the lead back up. Wolverines showed much more depth than the Wildcats, who have suffered due to multiple injuries. Michigan had 17 points off the bench to Northwestern's three.
"What concerned me about [Michigan] all year was the way that [Kate] Thompson and Arnold play off the bench and give them offensive weapons," McKeown said.
The team was led in scoring by freshman guard Morgan Jones who put up 14 points including four three pointers. But most of the Wildcats' offensive production came from down low with junior forwards Kendall Hackney and Diamant. Both shot 50 percent or higher from the floor, but they only accounted for 19 or Northwestern's 52 total field goal attempts.
Instead, the ‘Cats tried to rely on outside shooting, which outside of a brief period in the second half, was not working.
"We were getting open looks, but they weren't falling," Jones said. "We didn't get to the free throw line enough."
Without much physical, inside play, the ‘Cats only shot three free throws all night.
"Michigan double-teamed [Diamant] and they showed double teams even before she got the ball," McKeown said. "It was hard to force the ball inside to her. She's still coming back from injury. I needed to get her out of the game probably a little more than we did."
The game was a disappointing follow-up to the Wildcats' one-point victory over Illinois Monday night. They now stand at 2-4 in Big Ten play with a game at Wisconsin coming on Sunday. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. CT.