Northwestern Wildcats, 1/29/06
Northwestern University has compiled a 5-14 overall record during the 2005-2006 season to date, including 1-7 in conference games. The Wildcats have defeated Creighton, Illinois-Chicago, Miami (Ohio), Saint Mary’s (Calif.) and Michigan, while losing to Missouri, Valparaiso, St. John’s, Nebraska, Western Michigan, DePaul, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, UW-Milwaukee and Penn State.
Head Coach Beth Combs is in her second year as head coach at Northwestern. The Decatur, Ill., native graduated from the University of Illinois in 1992, and became the interim head coach of Colgate University in the 2001-2002 season, leading the squad to a 14-17 record, the most wins in more than a decade. In her third year at Colgate, Combs won her second Patriot League Coach of the Year honors, taking the team to a 21-10 record. She is Northwestern’s fifth head coach in women’s basketball.
Northwestern has 11 players on its 2005-2006 roster: two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and five freshmen. Five players are six feet tall or more. Seven players have seen action in all 19 games and all seven average at least 13.6 minutes per game led by Sara Stutz at 31.8 and A.J. Glasauer at 29.5.
The Wildcats average 62.5 points per game, led by Ifeoma Okonkwo at 13.8 and Glasauer at 11.4. Stutz, Nadia Bibbs and Kristin Cartwright chip in with 8.2, 7.1 and 7.0 respectively. The team shoots 38.1% from the field, 30.9% from 3-point range and 70.2% from the free throw line. The team has an overall assist/turnover ratio of 296/364, with Bibbs leading the squad at almost four assists per game.
Defensively, opponents average 75.9 points per game against Northwestern, shooting 45.0% from the floor and 37.2% from 3-point range. Opponents also outrebound the Wildcats 43.4-35.4 each contest and have compiled a 319-362 assist/turnover ratio on the season. Northwester has 180 steals on the season, led by Okonkwo’s 39, and 56 blocks, led by Stutz’s 13.
Senior Ifeoma Okonkwo is the top player on Northwestern, leading the squad in points per game, rebounds per game (7.7), steals, field goal percentage (52.1%) and three-point percentage (42.9%). With her 263 points this season, she needs only 46 points to break the 1,000-point barrier in her career in purple-and-white.
Freshman Kristin Cartwright is the daughter of Bill & Sheri Cartwright. She has started 11 games for the Wildcats and ranks first in free throw percentage (86.2%), second in field goal percentage (40.7%) and 3-point percentage (38.7%), third in rebounds per game (3.9) and fourth in assists. The 5’11” freshman from Lake Forest, Ill., has fouled out of five contests.