The Grinnell women’s basketball team was handed another loss Feb 11 by Midwest Conference foe Knox College 69-71. The Pioneers have struggled this season, dropping to 2-12 in the Midwest Conference and 3-18 overall.
“There were some moments of some really good stuff,” said Head Coach Kate Gluckman. “But the same things are still holding us back in terms of turnovers and missed defensive opportunities.”
Grinnell had beaten Knox 74-70 on Dec 10 at home, so hopes were riding high coming into the game. The Pioneers led by four at the half but Knox (3-11 MWC, 6-15) rallied back in the second half and kept it close. With five seconds left and the game tied at 69, Knox was able to make 2 free throws for the win.
“We came in thinking that we could at least improve on what we did the last time and we were tied in the league,” said Mallory Scharf ’11. “But it was definitely more disappointing when we lost because we thought we had a better chance of winning this one.”
Despite the loss, the team had a couple of excellent individual performances. Jess Shotts ’10 scored 27 points to lead all scorers and Meg Huey ’12 added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Also, after a weekend of what Gluckman described as a “horrific” rebounding performance, the Pioneers were able to out-rebound Knox 46-34.
Grinnell also suffered two more losses over the weekend to conference opponents at home. The Pioneers fell to a strong Beloit team 74-58 on Feb 7 following a 75-40 loss to Ripon (9-4, 12-8) the day before.
“Ripon and Beloit are two very different teams, and we match up better against Beloit,” Gluckman said. “But we’ve had two really good games against Beloit and in the second half against Beloit we played them even. But they have some tremendous athletes and they’re well-coached and they use their assets really well.”
The Pioneers came out hard against Beloit (11-3, 14-7), leading 16-7 with 13:44 remaining in the first half. But Beloit, which is currently second in the conference standings, came back and by the half, had taken the lead, 44-28.
“When we come out against Beloit like the way we did it should give us a lot of confidence,” Scharf said.
The Pioneers have lost six straight entering this Saturday’s game against Illinois College. However, it is the Pioneers’ last home game and they hope to end the season on a good note.
“We want to see some improvement since the last time we played these two teams,” Scharf said. “We want to show them that we’re not the team that we were a month ago.”