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Northwestern women’s basketball 2020-21 player reviews: Paige Mott

The first-year had a solid season and has emerged as a valuable piece for seasons to come.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Maryland vs Northwestern Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Much like fellow first-year Anna Morris, many weren’t sure what to expect from Paige Mott coming into the 2020-21 season. It was expected that Courtney Shaw would carry the load in the frontcourt throughout the year, given that both Abi Scheid and Abbie Wolf both graduated after the 2019-20 season. However, Shaw was injured about a third of the way through the schedule, leaving Mott and Morris to vie for the starting spot.

In the end, it was Mott who’d win the position, carving out a nice role for herself and starting 16 of her 25 total appearances. While she did start many a time, Mott averaged just 16.1 minutes per game, still splitting action with Morris down low.

Stats

The following stats are courtesy of HerHoopStats.com.

As previously mentioned, Mott averaged 16.1 minutes per game. Unfortunately, she was unable to make a significant mark in terms of a stat line. In a lineup chalked full of scorers like Lindsay Pulliam and Veronica Burton, Mott didn’t take many shots and averaged just 3.6 points per game. However, she averaged 0.6 blocks and 0.6 steals per game, making her presence felt defensively given her somewhat limited playing time.

Mott’s best game of the year came on Feb. 11 against Rutgers, when she dropped 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and six rebounds in 33 minutes played. It was her only double digit scoring campaign of the season and the only game where she played at least 30 minutes, yet despite her valiant effort, the ‘Cats still fell by 16.

Shot Distribution

The following stats are courtesy of HerHoopStats.com.

Similar to Morris, Mott saw a pretty low usage rate, which is understandable considering the other offensive weapons Northwestern had this year. Of note, Mott is not a three-point shooter like Morris. Mott scored zero points from beyond the arc this year while attempting just one three pointer the entire season (that came on Dec. 17 against Purdue). She did a decent job at drawing fouls, scoring 20% of her points from the charity stripe.

The Good

When Courtney Shaw went down with her injury, the front court became a huge question mark for the ‘Cats. Mott earned the starting spot, splitting time with Morris and filling in for Shaw, which was crucial. Mott’s potential to complete hustle plays created a bigger impact than the stat sheet shows. In an undersized lineup, her rebounding ability was much appreciated as well.

The Bad

It comes down to shooting. As previously mentioned, Mott isn’t much for being a three-point sniper. Additionally, while she did score 20% of her points at the free throw line, she shot just 18-of-32 (56%) on those foul shots. If Mott wants to create more of an impact in the scoring department, she’ll have to diversify the way she attacks defenses a bit.

The Bottom Line

It’s no secret that the frontcourt would need some help with the departure of Scheid and Wolf this past summer, and that help became even more dire when Shaw went down with an injury. Mott’s season wasn’t anything particularly special, at least in terms of her stat line, but she was a big help down low and stepped up when the Wildcats needed it most. All in all, Mott has laid the foundation to have a strong sophomore year.