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Northwestern 75, Illinois 58

EVANSTON, Ill. - Abbie Wolf scored 21 points and No. 14 Northwestern defeated rival Illinois 75-58 to clinch 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 13 and Abi Scheid 10 for the Wildcats (26-3, 16-2), who have won nine straight.

Scheid had all 10 of her points, 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-on conversions, part of a 14-4 run that pushed the lead to 16. She also had a pair from 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 plus-15 on the boards. Wolf had nine rebounds, Pulliam eight and Scheid, who also had seven assists, had seven boards.

The Wildcats won 25 games in 1979-79 and the 1989-90 Big Ten champions won 24 games.

No. 7 Maryland is now a half-game behind Northwestern heading into a regular-season ending game at Minnesota on Sunday.

Associated Press

February 29, 2020