The Lawrence University women’s basketball team fell short at Alexander Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 1 to Monmouth College by a score of 68-46. Senior Alex Deshler led the team with 18 points scored, while sophomore Katie Schumacher pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
As game day approached, the Vikings knew that it would be a challenge to compete with the third place Fighting Scots. “We went into this game feeling like we had nothing to lose,” said junior Kassidy Rinehart. “Monmouth is a very athletic team so we had to do the little things right and value the basketball.” The Scots dominated the beginning of the first half, scoring 25 points in the first 15 minutes, which resulted in a 25-14 advantage.
In the final five minutes, however, Lawrence rallied off a Deshler three-pointer and scored nine unanswered points to cut Monmouth’s lead to 25-23. Starting with a Kim Coleman jumper, the Scots responded with a six-point run to bring the score to 31-25 at the half.
The Vikings had to focus on maintaining their level of play for the second half, following an exhausting 20 minutes of basketball. “We had just played a very solid first half and we were starting to get tired,” recalled Rinehart. “We really focused on execution and fighting through that fatigue in the second half.”
Monmouth came out of the half firing on all cylinders, as they went on a 15 to 6 run that brought the score to 46-31. Lawrence responded with a scoring run of their own behind seven points from a Deshler three-pointer, a jumper from freshman Courtney Schmidt and a fast break lay-up from sophomore Patsy Kealey. Monmouth’s lead was cut to ten points.
With 8:42 remaining, the Scots pulled away by going on a 13-3 scoring run, leading to a61-41 advantage. Lawrence was able to score a few more points in retaliation but the Scots closed the game easily, claiming a 68-46 win.
Moving ahead, the Vikings look forward to the final stretch of their season. “I think one of our biggest goals for the rest of the season is to stay healthy,” says Rinehart. “We have had a lot of injuries and with a small bench there is not much time for recovery. We just need to get better every day and have the confidence that we can compete with anyone.”
With a small roster size, the Vikings are certainly at a disadvantage. The team needs to stress conditioning and maintaining focus if they wish to stay competitive at the end of these long games. Staying healthy will be key, as every member is extremely valuable to the team. The Vikings played host to the St. Norbert Green Knights on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and will travel to Illinois College (10-7, 8-4 MWC) on Saturday, Feb. 8.