Lawrence women use all their assets to stay on a roll

Andy York

The Lawrence University women’s basketball team is butter, because they are on a roll. The Vikings won both their games last weekend, to push their winning streak to four games. The Vikes defeated Illinois College 68-59 on Friday night, and on Saturday afternoon hung on to defeat Knox 61-58 in overtime.On Friday, the younger members of the Vikings showed why Lawrence is near the top of the Midwest Conference. With senior stars Dara Rakun and Beth Pollnow being held to seven and three points respectively, the younger members of the team took over. Freshman guard and reigning Midwest Conference Player of the Week Felice Porrata had a double-double, scoring a career high 26 points and pulling down twelve rebounds to lead the Vikings. Sophomore forward Mary Molter was the other Viking in double figures, scoring ten points.

The Vikings jumped out to a halftime lead of 40-32 and the Lady Blues of Illinois College were unable to recover from this deficit.

The Vikings continued their streak of not playing well in the second half by only shooting 29 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line. However, their play was good enough for them to emerge 68-59 victors.

Junior forward Adrienne Dickerson led the Lady Blues with 21 points and sophomore center Krista Kuhlman added 18.

On Saturday afternoon, the long range shooting of the Vikings saved them from defeat. Unlike their most recent games, the Vikings did not get off to a good start. They shot only 32 percent from the field, and five of their eight baskets were three-pointers. Knox was able to control the tempo of the game by getting to the free-throw line often. They shot 13-18 from the charity stripe. With this advantage, the Prairie Fire took a 32-30 lead into the half.

The second half was just as ugly as the first for the two teams. Both Lawrence and Knox shot 29 percent in the second half. Neither team played well, but Lawrence was able to squeak out two more points, and the game went to overtime tied at 54.

In overtime the Vikings found their fighting spirit. As the game neared its conclusion, the score was tied at 58. Freshman forward Katie Misch gathered a loose ball in the Knox end and shot a three-pointer as the horn sounded. It went in, and the Vikings went crazy. This three was her only basket of the game and gave the Vikings a hard-fought 61-58 victory over Knox.

Beth Pollnow was the star of this game for LU, scoring 21 points and having four steals. Pollnow continues to lead the Midwest conference in thefts, averaging four and a half per game. The Vikings’ next star, freshman guard Porrata, continued her hot streak by adding fifteen points and ten rebounds for LU. Freshman guard Jessi Schmidt also added sixteen for Lawrence.

The Vikings are at home this weekend, taking on Iowa pair Grinnell tonight and Monmouth tomorrow afternoon.