Piece of the pie for Cats

NU earns at least a share of Big Ten crown with win

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL | BULLS -

Ab­bie Wolf scored 21 points, and No. 14 North­west­ern de­feated ri­val Illinois 75-58 on Satur­day in Evanston to clinch at least a share of its first Big Ten ti­tle in 30 years and set a school record with its 26th win.

Lind­sey Pulliam added 17 points, Veron­ica Bur­ton had 13 and Abi Scheid 10 for the Wild­cats (26-3, 16-2), who have won a sea­son-high nine straight.

North­west­ern shot 50% and held Illinois to 30% to take a 36-25 lead at the half.

Wolf pro­vided the spark in the third quar­ter with three con­sec­u­tive and-one con­ver­sions, part of a 14-4 run that pushed the lead to 16. She also had a pair of free throws in a 6-0 spurt that made it 56-35 late in the quar­ter.

Brandi Beasley scored 18 points for the Illini (11-17, 2-15), who take a six-game los­ing streak into the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment.

North­west­ern was a plus-15 on the boards. Wolf had nine re­bounds, Pulliam eight and Scheid, who also had seven as­sists, had seven.

The Wild­cats won 25 games in 1978-79, and the 1989-90 Big Ten cham­pi­ons won 24 games.

No. 7 Mary­land (24-4, 15-2) is a half-game be­hind North­west­ern head­ing into its reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Min­nesota (15-13, 5-12) on Sunday.

JOHN J. KIM/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

North­west­ern coach Joe McKeown holds the Big Ten cham­pi­onship tro­phy Satur­day after the Wild­cats de­feated Illinois 75-58 to win at least a share of the con­fer­ence ti­tle.

North­west­ern’s Lind­sey Pulliam re­acts after hit­ting a shot Satur­day against Illinois.

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