EVANSTON, Ill. — It was a senior night to remember in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Northwestern (16-10, 8-7 B1G) capped off the seniors’ home finale with a 68-51 win over Purdue (16-12, 7-10 B1G)—a crucial victory for the ‘Cats in the final stretch of the regular season.
Lauryn Satterwhite led the way for NU with a career-high 20 points in her final appearance in Evanston, shooting an impressive 8-for-12 from the field. Courtney Shaw earned her seventh double-double of the season with 14 rebounds and 10 points, and Veronica Burton capped off her career at Welsh-Ryan with 12 points and 8 assists.
For Purdue, it was Abbey Ellis who led the way with 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting, and Madison Layden who contributed six boards.
It was only fitting that the seniors set the offensive tone early. Shaw opened the scoring with a layup off an assist from Burton. A few possessions later, Jess Sancataldo buried a contested three-pointer to give the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.
But, Purdue responded with five points of its own to tie the game. Two threes from Jillian Brown then sandwiched a Layden score from deep. Ellis made another layup to make the score 11-10 Northwestern heading into the first media timeout.
The Wildcats gained some momentum coming out of the break. After a layup from Laya Hartman, Burton made one of her own off the dribble. She followed that up with a steal on Purdue’s inbound and an assist to Lauryn Satterwhite to cap off a 6-0 NU run.
Brooke Moore ended the Boilermakers’ two-minute scoring drought with a three and another step-back jumper, leaving the score at 17-15 in the Wildcats’ favor at the end of the first quarter.
Moore added a fast-break layup to open the second quarter and tie the game at 17. That prompted Northwestern’s Joe McKeown to take his first timeout.
After the break and a layup from Purdue’s Ava Learn, Brown banked in her third three-pointer to give NU a 20-19 lead. A minute later, Satterwhite followed that up with a layup and another make from deep to extend another 6-0 run.
She kept up her hot shooting with another three-pointer and a make from midrange in response to a score by Ellis. Satterwhite’s strong play helped the ‘Cats build a 32-23 lead with two minutes to play in the half.
The graduate student kept pouring it on, converting yet another layup after Ellis scored again. Northwestern entered the locker room with a 34-25 edge, and Satterwhite led all scorers with 14 points on six-for-seven shooting—her only miss coming from beyond the arc. Brown contributed nine points of her own, and Shaw notched five rebounds and four steals before the whistle as well.
Purdue struck first in the third quarter with a layup from Jeanae Terry. Burton responded, but Rickie Woltman scored twice in the paint to cut Northwestern’s lead to 36-31. The Wildcats countered with a layup by Brown and a three-point play from Burton to bring the lead up to double digits.
After a few empty possessions on both ends, Layden swished a three to bring the Boilermakers within six. Paige Mott and Shaw answered with three free throws to give the ‘Cats a 45-36 lead with just under two minutes left in the third quarter.
Off the bench, Caileigh Walsh added a layup off a stellar post move. Ellis made a jumper on the next possession, but Melannie Daley’s first field goal of the game helped the Wildcats close the quarter on a high note. They held a 49-40 edge at the period’s end.
Layden opened the final frame with her third three-pointer of the game, but Satterwhite responded with another bomb from long-range. Despite another layup from Woltman, who established Purdue’s post presence in the second half, Hartman and Shaw both scored to give Northwestern a 56-45 lead — its largest of the night.
After a media timeout with five minutes to play, both teams traded scores. Shaw made three more free throws to extend NU’s lead to 61-49 with under three minutes remaining.
From there, the Wildcats closed out the game. The lead grew to 18 after Satterwhite and Burton both buried long threes.
The ‘Cats will conclude their regular season schedule on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT when they head to Lincoln to face Nebraska.