Viking rallies come up short vs Ripon

Photos by Sebastian Evans.

Freshman KJ Davis digs deep on defense.
Junior Kenya Earl was almost perfect from the free throw line.
Junior Erin Hill drives for a bucket.

Against the Ripon Red Hawks on Feb. 8, the Lawrence women’s basketball team suffered a loss behind a team-wide slump in field goals. 

Trouble began early for the Vikings behind an extremely slow start; of the 14 shots from the field taken by the Vikings, only a paltry two were made in the first quarter. The Hawks took advantage of this lapse in offense and ran up a score of 16-7 by the end of the first quarter. Lawrence held solid for the second quarter, however, closing the gap to five points at 19-14 after seven points were scored at the free throw line by juniors Kenya Earl and Erin Hill. The Vikings stayed competitive to close the half, and the lead that Ripon held shrunk quickly, at 30-26. 

The Vikings’ third quarter was decidedly less inspiring, as they fell back into an offensive slump while Ripon shined from the field with a team percentage of 75%. Meanwhile, freshman guard Delaney Brooks scored half the team’s points that quarter with five (one FG and one 3PT), and the point difference of 22-8 broke Lawrence’s back as Ripon strengthened their lead at 52-34. This third quarter faltering proved to be the team’s undoing, as they were unable to win back any semblance of a close game within the limits of time. 

Despite clutch three-point shots from Earl and Brooks, the Vikings could not carry the momentum, and Ripon gained a crushing 64-44 lead. 

While LU was able to make a 10-1 run and finish the game on a higher note, the game had been out of their reach since the 20-point advantage. “The fourth quarter was better for us. We put the ball in the hoop and got some defensive stops,” said Earl. “But I think that third quarter kind of put us in a hole in the long run.”

Game leaders included Earl with 17 points, senior guard Shonell Benjamin with 11 rebounds, and freshman guard KJ Davis with four assists. The loss this time was a lack of efficiency; at the end of the game, the team held a 29.6% rating on field goals made. 

Lawrence proved that the Red Hawks were a surmountable opponent for them, but they came up short in their execution. The team record falls to 5-16, and to 2-12 conference-wide. Ripon improves to 16-5. Looking for their first away win, the Vikings will travel to Lake Forest this weekend to bout against the 10-10 Foresters.

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