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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s basketball splits two

Lydia Stariha ’17 reaches for the ball against Illinois College on Tuesday. Photo credit Chris Lee.

Last Saturday, the Grinnell College women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 61-55 victory over Beloit College at Darby Gymnasium.

Lydia Stariha ’17 reaches for the ball against Illinois College on Tuesday. Photo credit Chris Lee.
Lydia Stariha ’17 reaches for the ball against Illinois College on Tuesday.
Photo credit Chris Lee.

Head Coach Dana Harrold attributes the victory to the urgency, high energy and tight defense of the women.

“We don’t have long to hang our heads about a loss since our next opponent is usually days away,” Harrold wrote in an email to The S&B. “Beloit had beaten us by two in overtime earlier in the year … so I know my women really wanted to prove they were the better team, and they did that.”

The first half of the game was close, with the Pioneers trailing Beloit 32-33 at halftime. Despite the tight affair, the players were unsatisfied with their performance during the first half.

“We weren’t happy with the tempo and how we had played in the first half,” said Alissa Hirsh ’16. “And knowing that we hadn’t reached our potential … it kind of spurred us to [think], ‘All right. Let’s just do what we know we can do and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t come to the lead.’”

And the Pioneers proved that there was no room for another loss.

Hirsh led the charge, scoring a team-high 21 points while recording seven steals and three assists while Alex Neckopulos ’17 continued her dominance in the paint, grabbing 19 rebounds. During the second half, the women went on a 13-4 run to close in on victory.

On Tuesday, the Pioneers hosted another tough team, Illinois College, losing 47-72. Facing a top-three team in the Conference, the Pioneers walked into the game with strong intensity but were disappointed to have the scoreboard reflect the team’s failure to compete at a satisfactory level against a team of high caliber.

“I would say our game against Illinois College doesn’t really demonstrate the work that we put in, which is something that a lot of people say but it’s actually true,” said Kayla Morrissey ’18. “We let them get too many rebounds … and rebounds were pretty much the key of the game and we didn’t get enough.”

Morrissey finished the game with 18 points to lead the team, making half of her 14 shot attempts. The team overall, however, suffered from a poor shooting performance, making only 36 percent of their field goals. And while there may have been some hesitation on offense, the tough game against Illinois College was not a highlight of season.

“I would say that poor shooting performances just happen,” said Anne Boldt ’16. “Sometimes it’s really tough to bounce back from a tough shooting day during a game. I think that our team is full of great shooters and it’s pretty rare for us to not shoot well so I know we’ll be ready for Saturday.”

With full confidence that the next game against another conference opponent will yield a victory, the Pioneers will face Ripon College Saturday at 1 p.m. in Ripon, Wisconsin.

“[This upcoming game] is huge just because we beat them the first time so it’s important to show that it wasn’t just a home win and that we can go and do that on the road as well,” Hirsh said. “And anytime you’re coming out with a loss, the next game has an added importance of getting back on track.”

Currently, Grinnell’s record stands at 7-10, 5-7 in Conference.

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