Northwestern women’s basketball began their final month of the regular season by returning to the court after their bye week for games against third-ranked Concordia University with a 21-1 record (14-1 in the GPAC), on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and second-ranked Hastings College with their undefeated 24-0 record (16-0 in the GPAC), on Saturday, Feb. 1. Both games were played in Nebraska, as NW finished off their GPAC season series against both teams.
NW came out strong against the Concordia Bulldogs, leading by three at the end of the first quarter and fighting through a host of second quarter turnovers to hang within two after the first half. Junior Sammy Blum led the attack, raining in 5-of-6 from downtown in the first half which set her up for a game-high 25 points.
Concordia slowly crept away in the second half, however, led by a barrage of threes and some significant contributions off the bench on their way to a 91-76 victory.
Scoring in double figures for NW along with Blum were sophomores Devyn Kemble with 17 points and Alexis Toering with 10 points and eight rebounds.
It was a short turnaround for NW, heading back out to compete in Hastings, Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 1 for a bout with another top-ranked team. The Raiders jumped to a fast start and held a one-point lead over the undefeated Broncos as they headed into halftime. While NW brought on the pressure in the first half, the Broncos scored the first bucket of the third quarter and would hold the lead for the rest of the game. NW cut the deficit to five with just five minutes remaining, but Hastings used an 11-2 run to avoid the upset, pulling away for the 82-71 victory.
NW was led again by Blum, who scored 27 points, followed by Toering, sophomore Jada Cunningham and senior Bre Schuiteman with 12, nine and eight points.
The women’s team bounced back in a revenge match against ninth-ranked Dordt at home in the Bultman Center on Wednesday, Feb 5. The first match-up this year was a fast paced, high scoring affair in Sioux Center, with Dordt winning 92-84. In their game on Feb. 6, the Raiders upset the Defenders 91-76.