Women start MWC season 2-0

Peter Griffith

The Lawrence University women’s basketball team got off to a relatively good start for the 2006-07 season, coming into this week with a record of 5-4 including a perfect 2-0 record in the MWC.
The season opened at the UW-Stevens Point Tip-Off tournament on Nov. 17 against the high-powered UW-Stevens Point Pointers (10-2, 3-2 WIAC), losing 75-65.
Though the Vikings kept it close through most of the game and forced 29 turnovers, the Pointers were too much.
The Vikings couldn’t muster a win in the consolation game either, falling to St. Scholastica (3-7, 0-1 UMAC). Turnovers would haunt Lawrence, as the Saints took an early 17-3 lead while the Vikings turned the ball over on five of their first seven possessions.
A 0-2 start was not what Lawrence wanted this season, but the Vikings would turn it around immediately. A pair of weaker in-state opponents tuned out to be just what the doctor ordered as LU picked up wins against Marian (5-6, 2-2 NAthC) and MSOE (4-7, IND).
Going into the conference opener, LU was 2-2 with momentum, and they didn’t disappoint.
First on the MWC schedule were the Monmouth Scots (6-4, 0-3 MWC), and Molly Bouressa and Jenny Stoner made sure that it was out of reach early in the game.
Bouressa scored a career high 18 points, 15 of which were in the first half, and Stoner dished out 11 assists for a convincing 89-59 win.
Perhaps the signature win of the young season so far came the next day for Lawrence, as they squeaked out a win against the surprising Foresters from Lake Forest (6-2, 1-1 MWC).
The Vikings got 17 points off the bench from Kelly Mulcahy and recovered from a seven-point deficit with 4:54 left for a 54-50 win.
Unfortunately for Lawrence, the schedule featured another matchup with UW-Stevens Point next, and, just like 25 days earlier, the Vikings found themselves on the wrong side of a 10-point loss. Neither team saw a player hit double figures.
Over Christmas break Lawrence traveled to Lake Wales, Fla. for Warner Southern’s Christmas tournament. LU opened up against the hosts, coasting to an easy 71-53 win over Warner Southern, an NAIA school. Carrie Van Groll came off the bench for a game-high 21 points.
In the second game of the tournament the Vikings saw a 12-point halftime advantage disappear and dropped a tough one to Bethel College. LU out-rebounded Bethel by 21, but 27 turnovers doomed the Vikings.
Jen Gabriele, a freshman from Wooster, Ohio has been a standout for the Vikings. She has started all but one game and leads the team with an average of 11.1 points per game.
Jenny Stoner is the team’s quarterback once again with 37 assists and averaging by far the most minutes on the team. Her shooting has limited her effectiveness, however. She is just 29 percent from the floor on the year.
Lawrence returns to conference play when they travel to Ripon, Wis. for a match-up with the hated Ripon Redhawks on Saturday.