INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Veronica Burton scored 25 points with 13 rebounds and six assists to lead fifth-seeded Northwestern over fourth-seeded and No. 13-ranked Michigan 65-49 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
The game was tied at 30-all at halftime but the Wildcats held the Wolverines to a season-low 19 second-half points in avenging a pair of regular-season losses, including a 63-58 defeat last Saturday.
Northwestern advances to the semifinals for the first time since 2016 where it will take on top-seeded and No. 7-ranked Maryland on Friday. The Terrapins beat eighth-seeded Nebraska 83-73 in Thursday’s tournament opener.
Burton, the two-time Big Ten defensive player of the year, was 7-of-14 shooting and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line in finishing two points shy of her career high. The double-double was her second this season. Lindsey Pulliam added 18 points, leaving her five shy of 2,000 for her career.
Burton had a pair of baskets to cap a 6-0 run to start the second half and the Wildcats led thereafter, finishing the third quarter with another 6-0 run, including two buckets by Pulliam for a 46-38 lead. Three-pointers by Burton and Lauryn Satterwhite midway through the fourth made it a 14-point bulge and the lead remained in double figures.
Conference player of the year Naz Hillmon scored 26 points with 12 rebounds for her 13th double-double this season, including nine of the Wolverines’ 19 second-half points. Leigha Brown added 10 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. Michigan was 1 of 15 from the arc.