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Women’s Basketball ends losing streak in surprising victory against Lawrence University

Daria+Guzzo+19+goes+in+a+layup+against+Central+College+on+Thursday%2C+Nov.+8.+The+team+lost+55-59.+Contributed+photo.
Daria Guzzo ’19 goes in a layup against Central College on Thursday, Nov. 8. The team lost 55-59. Contributed photo.

The first month of the season for women’s basketball has had its highs and lows. This week, with the defeat of Lawrence University on Dec. 1,  marked the Pioneers’ first away win in nearly two years.

“We came into Saturday’s game really fired up. … We played really up-tempo and tried to push the ball against Lawrence and I think, even though we had a pretty tired team, Lawrence was also tired, and at the end of the day, we were able to put pressure on them and just use our toughness to overcome that,” said team captain Daria Guzzo ’19. “I think we were good on the boards, [and] we had some people really step up in terms of shooting.”

The Pioneer’s Sasha Thomas ’22 scored 18 points and Tyria Heath ’21 added 11 points, which read 61-52 at the end of the game.

The most recent game maintianed a Grinnell College basketball trend: the Pioneers have lost to Lawrence only once since 2008. The victory also brought an end to an away-game losing streak that lasted all of last season.

“Nothing really changed dramatically. I think we have been trying to turn this page of, you know, we’ve been in a lot of close games in the past,” Guzzo said. “We’re obviously more comfortable and love playing in Darby Gym, but … our motto this year is rise up, rise up to the challenge, and that’s kind of what we’ve been going into every game with the mindset of.”

According to Guzzo, the team played up to standard, winning back  nine points from early in the game.

“I think the favorite moment was just towards the end of the game where we were up by eight to ten-ish,” Guzzo said. “They came back and got within 6 with like a minute left, which was a little scary, but overall, we got a couple fouls and put a lot of our free throws in at the end. Kind of when we sealed the free throws we knew we were going to win that game … just knowing we had it in the bag and were able to minimize their runs and uptimes.”

The victory against Lawrence followed a narrow 57-62 defeat at the hands of Lake Forest College the night before.

“We played really well on Friday night [Nov. 30]. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top against Lake Forest, but we were pretty pleased with the way we played and wanted to correct the things, the little mistakes that we made on Friday night,” Guzzo said.

The Pioneers were also defeated 45-58 at Cornell College on Wednesday, Dec. 5, for the 15th time in a row.

“I think that we can compete with [Cornell College] better than we did last night. We let them bother us on defense, they’re a physical team and they want to push you out and make you uncomfortable, and they succeeded at that last night,” Guzzo said. “That’s something that, when Cornell comes here, we’ll really try to work on from this game last night.”

Now 1-2 in the Midwest conference and 3-5 overall, the Pioneer’s will next play Knox College in Darby Gymnasium this Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m.

Daria Guzzo ’19 goes in a layup against Central College on Thursday, Nov. 8. The team lost 55-59. Contributed photo.
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