EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Abbie Wolf scored 21 points and No. 14 Northwestern defeated rival Illinois 75-58 on Saturday 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.
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25