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Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Women’s basketball falls to Carroll

Sophia Gatton ’17 dribbles versus Lake Forest earlier this year. Photo by John Brady

On Jan. 17, the Grinnell College women’s basketball team lost 75-49 against Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. After the loss, the Pioneers fell to 4-5 in the Midwest Conference and 6-8 in overall games.

Sophia Gatton '17 dribbles versus Lake Forest earlier this year.  Photo by John Brady
Sophia Gatton ’17 dribbles versus Lake Forest earlier this year.
Photo by John Brady

The team remained strong against Carroll in the first half. After the hosts surged ahead with 8-2, the team worked to close the gap. Kayla Morrissey ’18, Alex Neckopulos ’17 and Anne Boldt ’16 all scored to tie the game 8-8 with just twelve minutes left in the first half.

Carroll, however, then went on a 19-2 run, securing a nineteen-point lead by halftime. They opened the second half by scoring 12 points on their way to victory. The hosts moved up to 8-1 in the MWC and 11-3 overall.

Morrissey scored 16 points, a game high, and had eight rebounds.

“Alissa [Hirsh ’16] and Sophia [Gatton ’17 ] … opened up a lot of opportunities for the players who were playing down low, or in the middle where I was playing,” Morrissey said. “I just had a lot of opportunities at the basket … I think I capitalized on them.”

The Pioneers were aware of Carroll’s skill level and practiced accordingly in the days leading up to their game on Saturday.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. [Carroll] is one of the best defensive teams in our conference, they only have one loss, so we knew it was going to be a challenge,” Gatton said.

To try to prepare for Carroll’s intensive defensive pressure, the Pioneers simulated their defense strategies.

“We tried to simulate what they would play on defense … and tried to practice against that, but obviously it’s hard to do because you don’t know how to simulate it perfectly,” Morrissey said. 

Despite intense preparation, the team had trouble breaking through Carroll’s powerful defense.

“We worked hard to prepare against their pressure prior to the game,” said head coach Dana Harrold, “but [we] did a poor job of attacking it in the game.”

During the game, the team did not play their best, allowing too many “costly turnovers,” Harrold said.

“Most of us did not play … as good as [we] could have. [Our performance] was much lower than we had performed throughout the rest of season thus far. One of the big [flaws] is that we were not keen on box outs, which was a killer, and we just didn’t get as many shots up as they did,” Boldt said.

The team has learned from their loss, however, to improve their gameplay.

“We learn from every game, but from this one we took being stronger with the ball, and making sure we are ready to attack pressure from the tip off, not five, 10 or 15 minutes later,” Harrold said.

In addition to strategy, the team must work on improving morale prior to games.

“I think everyone learned a lot,” Harrold said. “As a team we definitely learned how our mentality before the game has to be better. We have to come in with a competitive edge.”

Harrold remains optimistic looking at the rest of the season, saying, “We are looking forward to finishing strong this season and building from the wins we have had thus far.”

After falling to Cornell College 69-72 on Wednesday night in Mount Vernon, Iowa, the Pioneers will host Beloit College at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Darby Gymnasium.

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