After a strong start, the Lawrence women’s basketball team fizzled down the stretch, dropping a Saturday afternoon Midwest Conference game against the Beloit College Buccaneers 77-55.
The Vikings came out of the gates with a cool demeanor and excellent control of the ball. Freshman Cory Paquette led the Vikings to a 12-11 lead through the first seven minutes of the game, scoring six of her 11 points in that stretch.
However, Bucs center Diana Sopkowicz’s low post game gave her team a commanding 22-12 lead with just over eight minutes to go in the first half. Sopkowicz finished the game with a double-double, scoring 23 points on 11-12 shooting and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The Vikings cut the Beloit lead to 28-22 with just two minutes left in the first, but the Bucs pounded the ball inside, scoring the final six points of the half and extending their lead to 34-22.
Beloit started the second half on a 12-2 run, jumping to a 20-point lead after the first five minutes of the period. Lawrence never managed to come closer than 16 points the rest of the way and fell to 0-21 on the year.
The Vikings were without sophomore standout Nakita Chadwick, who suffered a concussion in the previous weekend’s games, as well as senior Kanesha Walker, who was out due to a death in her family.
Without these two key players, Lawrence was overwhelmed by Beloit’s deep bench, which provided the extra support the Bucs needed to put away the Vikings early in the second half.
The Vikings have just two games remaining on the season. After a Wednesday game against Ripon, they will finish at St. Norbert College with a game at 2 p.m. Saturday.