Women’s Basketball: Northwestern declines postseason bid, ends season


Alyce Brown/The Daily Northwestern

Veronica Burton faces a Penn State defender. With the conclusion of Northwestern’s 2022 season, Burton closes out her historic career as a Wildcat.

MaryKate Anderson, Reporter

Northwestern’s 2021-22 season has come to an end. 

The Wildcats did not secure a 2022 NCAA tournament berth on Sunday night and declined a WNIT bid soon after. 

NU sat on the bubble of most March Madness predictions in the latter half of the season, but ultimately was among the first few teams to fall out of the bracket. The night’s events closed out a season full of tight conference matchups and impressive growth across a relatively young roster.

The Cats finished the regular season 17-12, 8-8 in Big Ten play. They played six of their last eight on the road, went 5-3 in that stretch and ultimately landed the 7-seed in the Big Ten Tournament. 

Their two ranked wins came against then-No. 22 Iowa — who NU lost to in overtime three weeks later — and then-No. 4 Michigan, the program’s highest-ranked win since 1982. Iowa and Michigan were named 2 and 3-seeds in the NCAA tournament, respectively. 

The 2022 season also saw notable growth from NU’s less experienced players, such as junior guard Laya Hartman and freshman guard Jillian Brown. But despite the marked improvements from the team’s youth, the Cats’ season was heavily rooted in their veterans — graduate guard Lauryn Satterwhite, senior forward Courtney Shaw and senior guard Veronica Burton. 

Burton provided immeasurable value in every aspect of the Cats’ game. She notched nearly 18 points and four steals per game, was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the third time and continuously mentored her younger teammates on and off the court. As coach Joe McKeown repeatedly said, Burton was one of the best players in the country and one of the best to ever play for NU.

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