Jumping into the hunt

Andy York

The Lawrence University Women’s Basketball team is cruising up the MWC standings after another great weekend. The Vikings defeated Knox and crushed Monmouth this weekend and upset first place Ripon Tuesday night.The Vikings got off to a good start on Friday against Knox. The Vikings immediately jumped all over the Prairie Fire and took an 11-0 lead. They built on that and went into halftime with a 30-17 lead.

The second half would be no less of a Viking domination as they stretched their lead up to 23 points with the score being 61-38. Coach Amy Proctor got the end of her bench some playing time and the Vikings cruised to a 70-50 victory.

Freshman Claire Getzoff led the Vikings with 22 points. Jenny Jetel had her best game of the season with her first career double double. She had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jetel would have an even better game the next afternoon against Monmouth.

Just like the men, the Viking women got on top of the Scots early and just kept going. Jetel scored the first nine Viking points, a good start to her best game yet as a Viking.

The Scots scored seven early points, but then were stalled by the Viking defense and they couldn’t even creep into double figures until there were just under two minutes left in the half.

The game went from being tied at seven with 17 minutes left in the half to being a 42-9 Viking lead with two minutes left. The half mercifully ended for the Scots with the Vikings ahead 48-13.

The Scots mounted a comeback in the second half, but it was too little too late. The Vikings pushed their lead up to as much as 37 points early in the second half, and they cruised down the stretch to a 71-49 victory.

Every single player who got into the game scored for the Vikings. Jetel had a career game for LU by scoring 17 points. Ashley Stanton had her best game of the season as she added 11 points for LU. Felice Porrata added 10 to round out the double figure scorers for the Vikings. For Porrata it would only be a lead-in to the game against Ripon on Tuesday.

Tuesday night the Vikings came out thinking they could upset the Redhawks and it happened. The Vikings came out in the first half with all of the intensity and played good basketball. The Redhawks looked surprised, as the Vikings seemed to stomp all over them.

Ripon didn’t have a very good shooting first half, and the Vikings shot well. Less then two minutes into the game the Vikings were already up 10-0 and the Redhawks were on their heels.

The Vikings maintained that lead for most of the first half as Ripon got within six, but the Vikings quickly built it up again. At the half the shell-shocked Redhawks trailed the surprising Vikings 31-22. However, Ripon would be heard in the second half.

The Vikings continued to dominate the game early in the second half. With 13 minutes left, the Vikes took their biggest lead, a 17 point lead on a Getzoff three-pointer.

The Vikings led 50-33, but suddenly the Redhawks were on the offensive. The Vikings began to get sloppy, and Karin Kedrowski took over for Ripon. The Ripon star started to play the point guard slot, and would pull up for an open three-pointer if she had the shot.

The Vikings lead steadily decreased, and then with 4:28 left in the game, Kedrowski hit a three pointer to put the Redhawks in the lead for the first time at 59-58.

From then on the game went back and forth, no team holding a definite advantage. With 24 seconds left Melissa Skurzewski hit a lay-up to put the Redhawks up, 66-63.

Skurzewski was also fouled on the play and went to the line with a chance to bury the Vikings hopes, but a miss and a rebound by Porrata, and the Vikings were back in business.

Getzoff missed her tying three-pointer, and Carla Zarecki was fouled and put on the free throw line. She hit both, and with 11 seconds left the Vikings trailed by one.

Ripon guard Molly Kneip was fouled on the inbounds pass and had a chance to increase the Ripon lead. However, she missed both free throws, and after another rebound by Porrata, the Vikings called timeout to set up the last play.

The play was set up to go to Getzoff, but she was smothered so Porrata took the ball. She drove down the right sideline and stopped on the baseline. She put up an 18-foot jump shot and nailed it to put the Vikings ahead 67-66 with 2.4 seconds left. Zarecki stole the ensuing inbounds pass and the Vikings pulled off the upset.

Porrata was the player of the night for the Vikings. She finished with a double double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Getzoff added 12 and Jetel added 11 for the Vikings.

With the win the Vikings move to 7-4 in the MWC, good enough for fourth place. Ripon falls into second place at 9-2. The Vikings are in line for the fourth and final playoff spot right now, but still have five games remaining.

This weekend they will take on Lake Forest, who the Vikings defeated on a Getzoff buzzer-beater earlier in the year and Illinois College who is one game behind the Vikings for the final playoff spot.

Game time will be 5:30 p.m. Friday at Lake Forest and 2:00 p.m. at Illinois College Saturday.