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Northwestern women’s basketball player reviews: The Bench

Northwestern’s bench didn’t play much but showed promise in its limited minutes

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 13 Women’s Northwestern at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the remaining seven Wildcats only saw the court sparingly this season, they each made their impact on the team. Some suffered injuries while others earned their stripes as younger players hoping to earn more minutes in the future.

Here’s how Northwestern’s bench faired in its 2019-2020 season.

Jess Sancataldo

Sancataldo missed considerable time in her sophomore season while rehabbing from a knee injury suffered last season. The Australian sharpshooter showed what she is capable of in her freshman year, shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc in 19 games before being sidelined.

In her sophomore season, however, she only appeared in eight matchups for an average of three minutes—usually at the tail end of blowouts. In her limited play time, she averaged 0.8 points per game.

However, she has the chance to be a major contributor for the ‘Cats next season. Sancataldo can feasibly play any position from shooting guard to power forward, but Joe McKeown will likely try and develop her into a stretch four. As a 6-foot sharpshooter, she has a shot of filling the void left by Abi Scheid’s departure.

Kaylah Rainey

Rainey made the most of her opportunities in her freshman year. The freshman speedster struggled to score the ball but showcased a lot of athleticism and energy.

The Illinois native appeared in 13 games this season, mostly during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Averaging just over three minutes, she was good for about 0.7 points a game. However, her presence on the court often provided a jumpstart to the team as she continually hustled and tore through defenders with her speedy ball-handling skills. She will have a chance to compete with Satterwhite for more minutes next season.

Lauryn Satterwhite

After missing all of the 2018-2019 season due to injury, Satterwhite made a triumphant return in her redshirt sophomore season. She failed to put the ball in the basket much but appeared in over 60 percent of NU’s games this season. She averaged over five minutes and 0.7 points per game. Satterwhite will likely play a lead role as a point guard in the second unit next season.

Bryana Hopkins

Hopkins unfortunately did not get the senior year for which she hoped. After averaging 14 minutes per game in her junior season, Hopkins sustained a season-ending injury during non-conference play against Dartmouth and never recovered to see the court again. She only appeared in five games this season for an average of 5.4 minutes per game before being sidelined. Her presence inside certainly could’ve been used by this Wildcat team to relieve Abi Scheid and Abbie Wolf, especially deep into conference play.

Nonetheless, Hopkins continued to lead from the bench and certainly had a lasting impact on her teammates.

Brooke Pikiell

The walk-on played only three times in her junior season for an average of 2.2 minutes. She found her way into the stat book, recording a single assist against Dartmouth.

Amber Jamison

Jamison suffered a similar fate to that of Hopkins. After appearing in 10 of Northwestern’s first 11 games, she was sidelined for the rest of the year by an injury after the first game of conference play. She shot 100 percent (6-6) from the free throw line and added 16 rebounds.

As the most experienced player on the roster, the fifth year senior had an emotional goodbye before the ‘Cats beat Illinois to win the Big Ten Championship. Her presence both on and off the court will surely be missed.

Laya Hartman

As a top-40 recruit out of high school, Hartman didn’t get much of an opportunity to show her skills during her freshman season. Only appearing in 13 games this season, she averaged just over three minutes per game, charting 0.8 points a matchup.

While she sits behind a stacked group of guards, at 5-foot-11, Hartman could find more minutes contributing at the four next season with the departure of Scheid, most likely competing with incoming freshman Anna Morris and Jordan Hamilton for a spot in McKeown’s starting lineup.