NORTHWESTERN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WINS 2020 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP
- First women’s Big Ten title for Northwestern since 1989-90 season.
- Program record 26 wins; Most wins for an NU team in the NCAA era, breaking the previous record of 24 set in the Big Ten title-winning campaign of 1989-90.
- Northwestern is ranked No. 14 in the latest AP Poll, its highest ranking since 2015.
EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 14 Wildcats clinched a share of their first Big Ten Title in 30 years on Saturday with a 75-58 win against rivals Illinois on Senior Day.
The win pushes the ‘Cats to a 26-3 record overall and 16-2 in the Big Ten, for first place with Maryland. With the win Saturday, the ‘Cats can claim the title outright with a Terrapins loss on Sunday.
The win also gives head coach Joe McKeown the program record for wins in a season with 26. This year’s team broke the record set by the 1978-79 squad surpassing their mark of 25 wins. They also own the record for most wins in the NCAA era, breaking the previous record of 24 set in the Big Ten title-winning campaign of 1989-90.
The seniors dominated in their last regular season game. Abbie Wolf led the ‘Cats with 21 points and nine rebounds. Abi Scheid tied a career high with seven assists and added 10 points for her 17th game in double-figures this year.
Their combined efforts helped the ‘Cats cap the historic season with their ninth consecutive win, their longest winning streak of the season, and capture a share of their second Big Ten title in program history. The program last made the NCAA Tournament in the 2014-15 season and last hosted an NCAA Tournament game as a No. 8 seed in the 1992-93 season.
Northwestern built their winning identity on the backs of their ball movement and defense. The ‘Cats ranked first in the Big Ten in Assist Turnover Ratio and second in steals. Veronica Burton led the Big Ten in steals, averaging 3.34 steals per game.
Lindsey Pulliam has led the group offensively this season, averaging 19.1 points per game and has scored in double figures in a whopping 26 games this season. She has also been a dominant force on the boards in Big Ten play, notching at least five rebounds in 11 of the past 12 games.