Wildcat of the Week: Maggie Lyon
Welcome to Northwestern and college basketball, Maggie.
The freshman had a dynamic debut in helping Northwestern get off to a 2-0 start to the season. Lyon scored 21 points in her first game, a 79-69 win over Tennessee-Martin. She played in 38 minutes and shot 9 for 17 from the floor. The freshman than followed it up with 13 points and seven rebounds in a 82-72 win over Central Michigan.
Kendall Hackney, the veteran of this team, had a consistent effort this weekend posting 15 points against Central Michigan and 20 points against UT-Martin. Another freshman, Lauren Douglas, recorded a double double in Sunday’s win over Central Michigan with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Wildcats used some really balanced scoring in each of those games to record the win.
The emergence of consistent play from all the starters and from these two freshmen in particular is a good sign for the Wildcats as they try to break through for coach Joe McKeown.
Lyon has a strong pedigree winning all-conference and all-area honors for both her junior and senior year at New Trier. ESPN ranked her 27th for her position. Of course, McKeown has brought in strong recruiting classes before and elite recruits to Northwestern, but has struggled to break free in Big Ten season and get the program to an NCAA Tournament level.
That might be asking a lot of this group, but should remain the goal for a team that features a lot of different ways to attack the basket and score with Danielle Diamant and Kendall Hackney serving as veteran anchors. The 2-0 start is all you can ask for at the moment and the Wildcats are getting good contributions from their newcomers.
Jason Welch, Wrestling: The wrestling team got off to an amazing start by going to Stanford and defeating the Cardinal 32-6 in a thoroughly dominating performance. Welch, a two-time All American and a favorite to compete for a national championship at 157 pounds, won in front of his hometown crowd in dominating fashion. Continuing the youth theme of this post, NU’s sophomore class accounted for six victories in the dominant victory.
Lexie Goldsmith, Cross Country: The Wildcats finished fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regionals, finishing one spot better than their fifth seed. Goldsmith turned in a personal best time of 20:53.73 in the 6K race, finishing ninth overall and helping her get named to the All-Midwest Regional team. It was a bright ending to what could be termed a disappointing finish for NU. The team’s senior leader Audrey Huth fell victim to cramps and failed to finish the race. Tough ending for a great career. But Goldsmith looks to carry the baton next year in her senior year.
Venric Mark, Football: What more can we say about Venric Mark? He turned in another 100-yard rushing game, going for 104 rushing yards and a touchdown at Michigan Stadium in the 38-31 overtime loss. The game marked Venric’s seventh 100-yard rushing game this year and he has reached the century mark in his last four games. Mark’s emergence has changed Northwestern’s offense and turned this into a running team. No matter who is quarterback, Mark is a big weapon and the guy the offense is getting built around.