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IU Northwest men’s, women’s basketball wrap up successful seasons

Conference championship, national tournament appearance and player of the year accolades among honors

Athletics Mar 26, 2024

Men in basketball jerseys celebrate. It was another great year for the Indiana University Northwest men’s and women’s basketball teams.

From a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) tournament championship, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament berth, Player of the Year honors and more, here’s a short look at the highlights from both teams during the 2023-24 seasons.

Men’s basketball wins CCAC title, reaches NAIA Tournament

The IU Northwest men’s basketball team won the CCAC Tournament championship for the first time in program history and clinched a spot in the NAIA National Tournament for the first time since 2022.

The RedHawks finished tied for second in the CCAC standings, defeating No. 11 Roosevelt 81-70 in the regular season finale during a stretch that saw them win 14 of their last 15 games leading into the NAIA Tournament.

IU Northwest defeated St. Francis, Olivet Nazarene and IU South Bend en route to the CCAC Tournament title. With the title, the RedHawks received an automatic qualifier for the NAIA Tournament but lost to Concordia (Neb.) in an 83-81 heartbreaker in the first round.

Four RedHawks surpassed 1,000 career points during the 2023-24 season with seniors Brian Hernandez and Von Lillard along with juniors Jalen Houston and Anthony Taylor eclipsing that mark.

Junior Dannie Smith was named first team all-conference and Newcomer of the Year. Taylor and junior Trace Williams were second team All-CCAC selections.

It was the fourth time in head coach Javier Heridia’s tenure that IU Northwest finished with 20-plus victories.

Jessica Carrothers earns CCAC Player of the Year honors for women’s basketball

A woman basketball player dribbles past someone. Indiana University Northwest women's basketball player Jessica Carrothers dribbles past a defender.

The IU Northwest women’s basketball team finished the regular season with a 17-12 mark overall and 13-7 record in the CCAC, good for fifth place in the conference standings. The RedHawks won six of their last eight games to finish the regular season, beating Roosevelt in the first round of the CCAC Tournament before falling to No. 19 South Bend in the semifinals.

Junior Jessica Carrothers, who transferred in from Butler this year, broke the program record for most points in a game twice, scoring 44 against Trinity Christian on Jan. 29 and 51 at St. Ambrose on Feb. 17.

Carrothers averaged 27.7 points per game for IU Northwest, good for the second-best points per game average in the nation. She was named CCAC Newcomer and Player of the Year in addition to being a first team all-conference selection and an NAIA All-American honorable mention.

Junior Tiara Jackson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career and garnered second team all-conference honors. Junior Makayla Best was also named to the second team all-conference team.

Senior Samantha Martin and sophomore Abbie Tomblin were named NAIA Scholar Athletes for their efforts in the classroom.

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