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Women’s Basketball: Coffey named preseason All-Big Ten

Women’s Basketball: Coffey named preseason All-Big Ten
(Daily file photo by Katie Pach)

Senior forward Nia Coffey was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team in both coaches and media panels, the conference announced Monday.

Coffey, who averaged a double-double for most of last season before finishing the season with 20.3 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per contest, was a first-team postseason selection each of the last two seasons by both coaches and media. She also received honorable mention AP All-American honors last year. This is the third consecutive year Coffey was named to the preseason all-conference team.

Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell was the Big Ten preseason Player of the Year for both coaches and the media, and Maryland was selected as the conference favorite.

The Cats will open their regular season Nov. 11 against Hampton. After starting last season 10-0 and reaching No. 12 in the AP poll, NU struggled mightily in Big Ten play and finished with an 18-17 record after losing in the first round of the WNIT. After the graduation of guard Maggie Lyon last year, the Cats are expected to be led this year by Coffey and senior guards Ashley Deary and Christen Inman.

Florida, DePaul highlight women’s basketball nonconference slate

Florida, DePaul highlight women’s basketball nonconference slate
(Daily file photo by Katie Pach)

Northwestern will play 2016 NCAA Tournament teams Florida and DePaul this season, the team announced Thursday as it released the full nonconference schedule.

The Wildcats will host another NCAA qualifier in Missouri State and meet Virginia in a previously-announced ACC/Big Ten Challenge game as part of the 13-game slate. NU will host nine of those games at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

The Gators, who will travel to Evanston for a Nov. 25 matchup, were a No. 5 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament and was often ranked in the top 25. DePaul, who handed the Cats their first loss last season, reached the second round of the NCAAs as a No. 6 seed.

NU opens the regular season with three straight home games and will not leave the Chicagoland area before a Dec. 11 tilt at Milwaukee. The Cats’ only lengthy road trip is to the West Coast for games at Santa Clara and Gonzaga.

NU will host Illinois-Springfield in an exhibition Nov. 6. The official opener is Nov. 11 against Hampton.

The Cats’ Big Ten opponents have been released, but the full schedule has not. Last season, NU finished nonconference play with an 11-1 record but went just 4-14 in conference games.