As many know, the women’s basketball team has a new coach this year, and she has changed things up a bit. The past few seasons have been rough for our Lady Vikings. They had not won a game since playing Silver Lake College on Feb. 15, 2010, 31 games ago. The Vikings were also on a 62 game MWC losing streak that lasted almost four years. Their last win in conference dates back to Jan. 19, 2008. But, with Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tara Carr taking over this season, things are starting to look up. They beat Knox, a conference rival, 81-77 over the winter break.
Sophomore Alex Deshler got a double-double in the game, contributing 17 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Chioma Ejimkonye raked in 20 points and added eight rebounds. Junior Cathy Kaye made a huge impact in this game as well by adding 16 points and seven rebounds.
With almost five and a half minutes left in the game, Knox had their biggest lead of the night: 66-61. With 1:47 left, Deshler was fouled and awarded two free throws when her team was down by one point. With the game on the line, she knew everyone was counting on her to sink these two shots and give them the lead, and that is exactly what she did. Later, Knox shot a pair of free throws. Deshler grabbed a huge defensive rebound and fed the ball to sophomore, Amber Lisowe, who sank a three pointer with 55 seconds left to play.
Coaches always say that free throws win games, and this game is a prime example of that. Lisowe, Deshler and Ejimkonye were all fouled and sank in another free throw each, locking in the Vikings win.
Sadly, the women could not build off of their win, and they lost the next four games. After a well-deserved break, the women battled Beloit but could not hold on to get another win. They fell short and lost 71-64, but they did not leave Beloit without a battle. The Vikings started the game looking like they were about to get another win. They began with a six to nothing lead and at one part of the first half they were winning by 13. Their lead did not last long: At half time, the Vikings were losing by double digits. Ejimkonye led the team with points dropping 17 points, and freshman Kassidy Rinehart was right behind her with 13 points. Deshler contributed 11 points and dominated the boards with a game-high eight rebounds.
The Vikings also fell short to Carroll 56-44. Ejimkonye was the leading scorer with 19 points and freshman Presley Neuman tied for the game-high of 11 rebounds. The Vikings were close in the first half, trailing 23-29, but they just could not hold on for the whole game. The next game is Friday the 13, so let’s cheer on the women and hope they get another conference win over Grinnell.