Women’s Basketball: Pulliam looks to expand her range in her sophomore season

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Women’s Basketball: Pulliam looks to expand her range in her sophomore season

Lindsey Pulliam drives to the basket. The sophomore guard led Northwestern in scoring last season.

Lindsey Pulliam drives to the basket. The sophomore guard led Northwestern in scoring last season.

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Lindsey Pulliam drives to the basket. The sophomore guard led Northwestern in scoring last season.

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Lindsey Pulliam drives to the basket. The sophomore guard led Northwestern in scoring last season.

Andrew Golden, Assistant Sports Editor

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Women’s Basketball


After beating Lewis in an exhibition game on Sunday, sophomore guard Lindsey Pulliam said she had four goals for Northwestern: be a top team in the Big Ten, make the NCAA tournament, play its style of basketball and keep getting better everyday.

How the sophomore captain plays this winter will be a major indicator of whether the Wildcats will reach those goals. After her first season in Evanston ended with placement on the All-Big Ten Freshman team, the expectations for Pulliam were raised, and she will now look to improve on a stellar rookie campaign.

Pulliam started all 32 games for NU last season and ranked 13th in the Big Ten with 15 points per game. In addition, she shot 40 percent from the field while ranking third in the Big Ten with a 81.8 percent on free throws.

However, one area of her game where she struggled during her freshman campaign was from beyond the three-point line. Although she had 39 three-point attempts, she made just nine.

“I think for me, personally, I’ve been working on my three-ball,” Pulliam said about her offseason workouts. “(I’m) just trying to get my percentage up… just getting better from last year and increasing that percentage.”

Her 23.1 three-point percentage ranked sixth on the team last year. Pulliam said she doesn’t have a specific percentage that she wants to reach by the end of the season — she just wants to get better each day.

“She’s dangerous,” coach Joe McKeown said. “When you can add that to her mid-range game and her ability to get to the rim, she’s a really tough (one to guard) when she can play off the dribble, she can score.”

McKeown added that, because Pulliam is now a deep threat, people will have to respect her ability to shoot from behind the arc and play tight defense on her on that part of the court.

Pulliam will work with her fellow backcourt teammate Jordan Hamilton to help the Wildcats improve on their dismal 12-20 record last year. The sophomore guards complemented each other well, combining for 22.7 points and 6.4 assists. While Pulliam contributed most of the scoring, Hamilton set up Pulliam with her passing.

“They’re just two special players,” McKeown said in an October interview with Big Ten Network. “They got a lot of experience last year, a lot of minutes and that’s going to really help them.”

Pulliam was second on the team in minutes last year, averaging 35.2 minutes per game behind junior center Abi Scheid. Still, she ranked first in the Big Ten among freshmen in the category.

The combination of Pulliam’s work ethic throughout the offseason with her experience from last year could allow her to make the jump from “good” to “great” in her sophomore campaign.

“We use the word ‘baller’ a lot,” McKeown said. “She’s got a lot of ‘baller’ in her.”

Email: andrewgolden2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @andrewcgolden

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