As we inch closer to the start of the 2023-2024 Northwestern women’s basketball season, we continue to take a look at each player suiting up for the ‘Cats this season. Today, we will preview Maggie Pina, the lone transfer joining NU.
Who is She?
Graduate student; guard; 5-foot-7; transfer from Boston University
33 games played; 33 games started; 27.9 minutes per game; 9.4 points per game; 2.4 rebounds per game; 1.8 assists per game; 40 steals; 44.1 FG%; 37.5 3PT%; 70.7 FT%
Pina started her final season in Boston off strong for the Terriers. In the season opener, she shot 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. While the graduate student dropped significant numbers in the scoring department, including 22 points against Saint Joseph’s, she had multiple games under five points. Despite her struggles, Pina’s near-10 points a game would have made her the third-highest scorer on the Wildcats. Her 44.1% from the field was a career-high.
Towards the back half of the season, Pina’s scoring slowed down despite playing nearly every minute. In her final four games, Pina had three games with only one field goal. In her senior season, Pina helped lead BU to a 17-1 Patriot League record and a regular season title. In the Patriot League Tournament, Pina played 95 minutes but only scored 13 points across three games, including a mere four points in the Terriers' loss in the Patriot League Championship.
For a Northwestern team that struggled mightily scoring the ball last season, finishing 202nd in the nation last season in scoring offense, Pina brings an experienced scoring threat to the offense this season. Her ability to shoot the ball, specifically from deep, will bring instant support to a squad that shot a meager 26.7% from beyond the three-point line. Pina can also play solid defense and help the ‘Cats ease the loss of Sydney Wood on that end of the floor.
Off the court, Pina brings years of experience to a relatively young ‘Cats squad. Northwestern will rely heavily on the backcourt duo of Hailey Weaver and Caroline Lau, who started a combined three games last year, so Pina will help guide the two through the ups and downs of a season. Starting 33 games last season, the graduate transfer showed she can run an offense efficiently with the Terriers, and should be able to slide right into the Wildcats’ rotation for the upcoming season.
For a guard, Pina struggles in areas outside of scoring the ball. During her time in Boston, the graduate student only averaged 1.2 assists per game and 2.1 rebounds per game. Playing nearly every minute of the game last season, Pina still averaged less than two assists.
Northwestern averaged just 15 assists last season, finishing in the bottom 25% of the Big Ten. It is an area the ‘Cats need to improve on this upcoming season, and they will need Pina to take a leap in that category as well if NU wants to be successful this season.
Joe McKeown brought Pina to Evanston for one reason only — to score the ball. McKeown has admitted multiple times this offseason that the Wildcats needed to shoot the ball better, and Pina is a knockdown shooter.
The expectation for Pina is to contribute as a key scorer for Northwestern this season and help the ‘Cats climb out of the bottom of the Big Ten.