Women’s Basketball: Abi Scheid stars in victory over Valparaiso


Daily file photo by Owen Stidman

Center Abi Scheid drives to the hoop. The senior captain led Northwestern with 21 points in their 69-48 win over Valparaiso.

Drew Schott, Reporter

Women’s Basketball

With less than two minutes left in the first quarter, Valparaiso guard Shay Frederick nailed a 3-pointer, giving the Crusaders momentum as they cut Northwestern’s lead to three points.

As the Wildcats moved up the court on the ensuing possession, Valparaiso played tight defense. However, they didn’t see senior forward Abi Scheid.

Scheid, taking advantage of a Crusader defense focused on the ball, broke free from her defender and got wide open in the center of the paint. Senior center Abbie Wolf then sent her a sharp pass, and Scheid laid the ball into the hoop.

The senior’s early basket was only a small part of her huge night for NU, as she scored a team-high 21 points in the Cats’ (4-0) 69-48 win over Valparaiso (1-3).

“I’m really proud of (Scheid),” coach Joe McKeown said. “She wants the ball…in tough spots. It was big for her tonight to stretch them out the way she did.”

One of the team’s three captains, Scheid shot the lights out. On a night where NU overall made only eight of its 21 3-pointers, Scheid thrived from behind the arc, scoring a career-high five on seven attempts.

In a game when many of her teammates struggled to nail their shots, Scheid was one of the team’s most efficient scorers, making eight of her 11 overall attempts.

“My overall goal is to win,” Scheid said. “Whatever I can do to help the team — if that’s shoot, then I’ll shoot.”

Scheid, who also grabbed five rebounds and notched a steal in the win, is a strong force defensively.

However, because Valparaiso heavily covered junior guard Lindsey Pulliam — who shot one for 12 on the night — and other guards, Scheid was able to showcase her offensive skills, especially at the 3-point line.

The senior used NU’s great spacing of the ball to her advantage. On a play with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Scheid got wide open on the baseline, leading sophomore guard Sydney Wood to send her a long pass from the other side of the court. Scheid then drained the ensuing three ball.

“It’s tough to guard a team with a bunch of firepower,” Scheid said.

McKeown said the captain’s leadership shone through in her stellar performance Thursday.

Additionally, he said Scheid’s tenacity stood out, calling her one of the Cats’ most consistent players because she persistently works to improve her game.

“This is what she does,” McKeown said. “As a coach, you really want consistency out of your seniors. And… (Abi’s) been in big games, played in big spots. You want to see that all year from her. She helps us.”

Despite NU going 24-64 from the field, Scheid said she was glad her performance helped lift the Cats to their fourth straight victory.

“It’s always fun to be on,” Scheid said. “(You) see your work pay off.”

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