Women’s Basketball: Northwestern slides past Purdue 68-51 in Senior Night showing


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Jillian Brown holds the basketball. Brown had 11 points in Northwestern’s win over Purdue.

MaryKate Anderson, Reporter

Entering its penultimate regular season matchup, Northwestern — especially its senior class — understood what was on the line. 

“We’re all on the same page,” senior guard Jess Sancataldo said. “It’s an all-or-nothing approach. We know we need to win every game from here on, so we’re going to do everything we can, leave it all out on the floor, and just fight for each other.” 

The squad has their sights set on an NCAA tournament bid, but before that possibility can cloud their focus, the Wildcats must first wrap up the regular season and put on a showing at the Big Ten Tournament. NU’s first remaining hurdle was Purdue, a team they beat handily earlier this month and ultimately took down once more on Thursday’s Senior Night. 

The Cats (16-10, 8-7 Big Ten) topped the Boilermakers (16-12, 7-10) 68-51, in large part due to graduate guard Lauryn Satterwhite, another integral team member who played her final game in Evanston on Thursday.

Satterwhite’s game has markedly improved throughout February, and she exploded against Purdue. The Avondale, Arizona native registered an impressive 8-for-12 shooting from the field for a career-high 20 points, 12 of which were from three. 

After returning for a fifth and final year this season, Satterwhite could prove vital for the Cats’ success in March as her presence on the court continues to develop. 

“I came back for a reason,” Satterwhite said. “I didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t just to play basketball, but I think it was specifically to grow closer with this class and have moments like (today).”

NU’s other eligible seniors also left their stamp on Welsh-Ryan Arena for the last time. Senior forward Courtney Shaw notched a career-high six steals to accompany 14 rebounds, which also matched her career high. Senior guard Veronica Burton, the Cats’ key playmaker, scored 12 points alongside eight assists and three steals. 

Sancataldo had her own night to remember. She missed the entire 2020 season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and saw minimal court time this year. But, in the first start of her career, NU’s very own Aussie hit a three from the right corner with a large smile on her face as she scored in the first few minutes of the game. 

“It was really special,” Sancataldo said. “I knew I could shoot the ball, I just had to back myself in that moment. But I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else, they’re my basketball sisters.” 

The Cats honored their most successful class in program history at Thursday’s Senior Night, in what would most likely be their final stint at home. Senior forward Sydney Wood —  who was out most of the season due to injury —  Sancataldo, Shaw and Burton have proven their place in the school’s history books since their debuts in 2018. 

The quartet led NU to a Big Ten title in 2020 as well as an NCAA tournament berth in 2021. Not only have they earned the second best win percentage over their tenure of any class — 68% — they could punch their squad a second ticket to the tournament this March.

“When they came in here, they wanted to win and they wanted to impact Northwestern,” Satterwhite said. “To get to this point now, you just see the growth. I’m super proud of them … They’ve done so much for Northwestern and it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed, at all.”

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