Women’s Basketball: Northwestern prepares for Marquette and first road trip of the season


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Guard Lindsey Pulliam dribbles the ball. The junior sunk 25 points against Loyola on Nov. 10.

Sophia Scanlan, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Basketball

Northwestern is hitting the road this Thursday.

The squad will take a drive up to the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee for what should be a hard-fought contest against Marquette.

Both undefeated in their few games thus far, the Wildcats (1-0) and the Golden Eagles (3-0) have only faced off three times in history. Marquette came out on top in their most recent matchup last December, beating NU 76-57. The victory came, in large part, thanks to graduated seniors Allazia Blockton, Natisha Hiedeman and Amani Wilborn, who each scored in double digits that game.

But now, the Golden Eagles are down those three starters, plus two more. Though the Cats have only lost one player in Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, McKeown said the team is still getting used to playing without her.

“To take her out of the lineup — it’s hard to replace her,” coach Joe McKeown said. “People have to step up.”

One player who’s stepped up is senior center Abbie Wolf, someone who “really helped” the Cats at the end of last year and who has continued performing well this year, McKeown said. In NU’s opener on Nov. 10, the Connecticut native grabbed six rebounds and picked up 14 points, the second highest on the Cats that night.

McKeown also praised junior guard Lindsey Pulliam, who played more than 30 minutes against the Ramblers, tallying 25 points along the way.

“Every time Pulliam shoots, I think the ball’s going in,” McKeown said. “She’s a momentum player, so when she gets hot, you just want to run with it. You don’t want to take her out.”

Despite that solid offensive pairing, Marquette still won’t be an easy team to beat.

The Golden Eagles have had solid non-conference results so far, beating each opposing team by at least 17 points. Junior Selena Lott is leading Marquette offensively, averaging 17.7 PPG and hitting her career high of 24 points twice this season.

McKeown said the Cats need to work on taking advantage of small opportunities if they want to do well against Marquette and in the rest of their schedule.

“We became a really good team last year at times,” McKeown said. “(But) great teams — they find easy baskets. If you can get six or eight points on easy baskets — off tips, turnovers, layups — it makes a big difference…because all the games are really close most of the time.”

McKeown added that he’s looking to use the rest of this non-conference schedule to which lineups work well together in order to have rotations ready for the Big Ten slate.

Though he’s confident in his players — who he said have a “chip on their shoulders” after the win over Loyola — McKeown knows it’s still early in the season.

“These games, we’re just going to try to learn from (them),” McKeown said. “I’m not going to get too high or too low until Christmas.”

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