Women’s Basketball splits weekend road trip

A. Totoraitis

The Lawrence University women’s basketball squad went 1-1 on their Midwest Conference road trip last weekend. Friday night in front of the infamous Darby Gymnasium fans host Grinnell College defeated Lawrence 57-55.
Seemingly in control early the Vikings went up 18-9 on Chelsie Barnard’s three-pointer with 9:28 left in the first half. The Pioneers fought their way back, breaking off an 11-0 run in a three-minute span to take the lead 20-18.
Jenny Stoner then scored five straight and set up Christine Brice for a lay-up to tie the game with 2:19 left. Carrie Van Groll hit a jumper with just under a minute left to give the Vikes a two-point advantage at half.
The second half saw the Vikings shooting percentage drop below 30 percent and the Pioneers rise above the 30 percent mark. Shots that have normally fallen for the Vikings were off the mark, preventing a would-be comeback.
They still gave it their best effort and provided the team with a chance to tie. Jen Gabriele hit a three and Kelly Mulcahy followed with four free throws to cut the Grinnell lead to 55-53.
After a missed jumper for the Pioneers, Laura Aerts calmly sank a lay-up to tie the game at 55 with 47 seconds left.
Hannah Wolf then provided her Pioneer squad with the game-winner, and Lawrence’s Erin Henzi could not convert a jumper with five seconds left to tie and force OT.
Bouncing back nicely on Saturday, the Vikes trounced Knox College for a 93-56 win. LU climbed out to a monster 57-22 halftime lead and the Prairie Fire could not challenge in the second half.
Truly it was a team effort, as the Vikings received strong performances from a number of players in the decisive first half.
The offense was in sync as the Vikings recorded assists on 13 of the first 14 field goals and finished the half with 17 assists helping the Vikings shoot 60 percent from the field.
Guard Jen Gabriele dropped a game-high 19 points and three steals in only 12 minutes of action. She scored 11 of those points in a key two-minute period late in the first half.
With 6:07 left, she hit a three then followed it up with another three at 4:50. Not satisfied she recorded a steal and lay-up, and then topped it out with another three. Her steal and breakaway lay-up was the first unassisted basket on the half.
Guard Jenny Stoner again was the archenemy for ball carriers, ripping five steals in the game. Freshman guard Margaret Rhatican turned in the game of her short career with 10 points and eight assists.
The Vikings are in action Friday, Jan. 19 against the Lady Blues from Illinois College.