Northwestern women’s basketball finished out the regular season the week of February 17, continuing their hot streak with a strong road win against Dakota Wesleyan before falling at home to Morningside on senior day.
Junior Sammy Blum led the Raiders in scoring again, with game-highs of 23 and 26, respectively, complemented by an incredible display from downtown as she finished a combined 12-of-15 from the three-point range.
The Raider victory on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 13th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan saw the Raiders pick up their first win in five years at the Corn Palace. NW jumped out to an early lead behind Blum’s shooting and then used a balanced scoring attack to hold off the Tigers in front of nearly 3,000 fans.
Senior Bre Schuiteman followed Blum in double figures with 12 points, coming in clutch at the end of both the third and fourth quarters to put the game away for NW. Junior Alexis Toering and freshman Emilee Danner chipped in eight points apiece as well.
NW faced ninth-ranked Morningside at home on Saturday, Feb. 22, looking to close out the regular season with a win. NW started out strong from the floor, cashing in on all their first five three-pointers, and shooting 8-of-8 from the line in the first half. It was a back and forth battle as they entered the half trailing by five, 37-42.
A strong third quarter tied the game back up and the Raiders found them in a position to pull off another upset heading into the fourth. Three-point shooting proved to be the deciding factor as the Mustangs knocked down five threes in four minutes to pull away for the victory, winning by a score of 78-68. Blum ended with 26 points, followed by Toering with 11 and junior Devyn Kemble with eight.
The loss kept NW at sixth in the conference standings and pitted them in yet another matchup with Morningside on Wednesday, Feb. 26, this time in the quarterfinals of the GPAC playoffs.
It was a tough start for the Raiders in Sioux City, but a 14-0 run in the second quarter helped them grab the lead before halftime. Trailing by six entering the final frame, NW stormed back and found the game headed to overtime. The Mustangs struck first, however, and managed to hold that lead to escape with a 90-87 (overtime) victory. The Raiders (17-11) now wait for the selection show on Wednesday, March 4 to see if they receive an at-large bid to the National Tournament the following week.