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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s basketball topple league leaders

Womens+basketball+celebrate+victory+over+Monmouth+College+on+Feb.+2.
Women’s basketball celebrate victory over Monmouth College on Feb. 2.
Women’s basketball celebrate victory over Monmouth College on Feb. 2.

By Tommy O’Donnell
odonnel@grinnell.edu

Last Saturday, the Grinnell women’s basketball team put in arguably their best performance of the season to topple league leaders Monmouth College in an enthralling contest.

“It feels incredible … definitely exciting for us, but I’m just excited to move forward because, at the end of the day, it’s just another game,” said Sasha Thomas ’22.

“It felt really good … we knew we’ve been able to play to that competitive level with some of the best teams in our conference,” said Daria Guzzo ’19.

Earlier in the season, they took Monmouth College to the wire away from home but eventually lost by nine points. This time, the Pioneers managed to win with a strong defensive performance that held Monmouth 13 points below their season average.

Individually, Thomas and Guzzo had stand out performances. Thomas, who played 38 minutes, knocked down a career high five 3-pointers on the way to a game high 17 points.

“It was great. It was definitely tiring, but I had my team to support me the whole time,” she said.

The season so far has been relatively inconsistent for the Pioneers, who currently sit sixth in conference standings with a 6-9 record.

“We’ve definitely had ups and downs … but our plan right now is to just end the season as strong as we can,” Thomas said.

“I would say overall we are disappointed that we don’t have a few more wins, but I think our team is learning and growing each practice and each game and that is a big part of the overall process that we talk about,” wrote women’s basketball coach Dana Harrold in an email to The S&B.

With three games left, the team is looking to take this momentum as far as they can. First up is a trip to St. Norbert College, which has proved a difficult opponent for the Pioneers for a number of years.

“St. Norbert has been playing very well lately, but … if we focus on our game plan and execute on both sides of the ball, we will have a chance to beat them on their floor,” Harrold wrote.

With a strong core of young players, the women’s basketball team is optimistic of what they are capable of achieving in the future.

“I’m very excited … since most of our team is underclassmen. The more experience we get, the more our chemistry will grow. The future is definitely bright and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season,” Thomas said.

“We have excellent leadership in our senior class right now who have worked hard for four years to establish a positive team culture on and off the court, a hardworking, gritty mentality and I think our young team will work hard to continue these things after our seniors graduate,” Harrold wrote.

The Pioneers end their 2018-19 campaign against Lake Forest College in Darby Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m.

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