Women’s Basketball: McKeown wins Coach of the Year as six Cats receive All-Big Ten honors


Daily File Photo by Joshua Hoffman

Lindsey Pulliam takes a jumpshot. The junior guard will look to lead NU to a Big Ten tournament championship.

Drew Schott, Reporter

Women’s Basketball

Over the last four months, No. 11 Northwestern has put together one of its best seasons in program history. The Wildcats (26-3, 16-2 Big Ten) won their first Big Ten title since the 1989-90 season and set a record for team wins.

NU’s stellar campaign also produced the Big Ten’s top coach and some of the best players in the conference.

Six Cats received All-Big Ten honors — including all five members of NU’s starting lineup — and coach Joe McKeown was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. McKeown, who received his 700th career win in December, is the first Cats coach to receive the honor since Don Perelli in 1990 — when NU last acquired the conference title.

Junior guard Lindsey Pulliam was unanimously named to the All-Big Team first team, while sophomore guard Veronica Burton was honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and made the conference’s All-Defensive Team and the All-Big Ten Second Team.

Pulliam leads the Cats with 19.1 points per game, the third-highest mark in the Big Ten. The Maryland native is one of the 10 finalists for the Meyers Award — given to the nation’s top shooting guard — and is NU’s first unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team since Nia Coffey in 2017.

Burton, in addition to scoring a career-high 11.5 points per game, is averaging 3.3 steals per game — good for first in the Big Ten and ninth in the country — and has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference. Burton is the second player in program history to be named Defensive Player of the Year and the third placed on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.

Senior forward Abi Scheid was named to the first team by the conference’s coaches and the second team by the media. Scheid — the Cats’ number two scorer — is the nation’s top 3-point shooter. Averaging 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, the senior was named to her first All-Big Ten team.

Another senior — center Abbie Wolf — was selected as an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Wolf — coming off a 21-point outing on Senior Day — was also given her first All-Big Ten distinction after scoring 11.6 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Sydney Wood — who averages 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game — was named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention by the media, while senior forward Amber Jamison was chosen as NU’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

On Monday night, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee recognized the Cats’ successful season by ranking the team ninth out of the top 16 seeds in its last prediction before March Madness.

NU’s stellar lineup will hope to come out victorious at the Big Ten Tournament this weekend in Indianapolis. NU — the No. 2 seed — will face the winner of Michigan and Nebraska, the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds in the conference tournament, in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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