With their recent struggles in rearview, the Lawrence women’s basketball squad took on Carroll University at Alexander Gymnasium Jan. 23. The Pioneers may have been heavily favored, but on this evening, the Vikings would fight until the final whistle.
Early on, scoring was difficult. Opportunities to score off turnovers simply did not translate to baskets on either side, as the teams combined for 19 points in the first 13 minutes. Finally, the momentum shifted in favor of Carroll before the end of the half. Junior guard Emily DeNoyer and freshman guard Mallory Christenson set the tone for the Pioneers, and they took a 19-14 lead to the locker room.
The momentum quickly shifted in the second half, however. The Vikings came out smoking with a 12-3 run, which put them up 26-22 at the 14:57 mark.
Sophomore Kassidy Rinehart commented on the second half success, stating, “We had really good ball movement and simply worked as a team to score.”
It certainly wasn’t a selfish 12-3 run for the Vikings, as they managed an assist on every scoring possession. Lawrence would continue their streak for another 10+ minutes and led 48-40 with only 3:40 remaining.
But the Pioneers were determined to make a late push and did just that. They netted seven straight points in the final minutes to tie the game at 50-50 with 56 seconds left.
With 16 seconds to go, Carroll’s Kelly Menden made a pair of free throws to give Carroll a 52-50 edge, but junior Alex Deshler came up big in the clutch. Her layup with six seconds ultimately sent the game into OT, where only the most durable team would survive.
The overtime period wasn’t exactly filled with highlight reel moments, as Lawrence and Carroll combined for 0-12 shooting. The entire difference was made at the free throw line, and while While Lawrence failed to attempt a free throw, Carroll went 8-8.
It was a disheartening loss for the Vikings who played their closest contest since Dec. 11 in Finlandia. The Pioneers 60-52 win elevated them to (8-7, 7-5 MWC), dropping the Vikings to (1-16, 0-12 MWC).
Lawrence headed to Glennie Gymnasium Jan. 26, encouraged by their last performance. However, the Vikings left their energy back home. The Monmouth College Fighting Scots imposed their will from the opening tip-off and didn’t let off the gas pedal. The Scots opened up a 32-2 lead, as Lawrence suffered through a nine minute scoring drought at one point in the first half. Monmouth forced a slew of turnovers in the stretch and were paced by junior Marla Willard, who totaled 16 points in the contest.
On a positive note, the second half featured several Lawrence freshmen. Andrea Wilkinson, Margaret Johnson and Jeannine Schultz all played more than 11 minutes in the period, and even as the Fighting Scots expanded their lead, their playing time provided a great experience to build on.
Monmouth (16-3, 11-3 MWC) dominated in all aspects and secured a 85-37 win. Three players scored in double-digits for the Scots while Deshler was the lone Viking to accomplish the feat.