Women’s basketball team suffers back-to-back losses

wbball1webThis past weekend, the Grinnell Women’s basketball team faced two of their toughest conference opponents, Carroll University and St. Norbert College. Though both were hard fought games, the Pioneers fell to Carroll 86-57 and then to St. Norbert 72-51.

On Friday, the Pioneers opened with forward Jessica Shotts ’10 scoring the first five points of the game.  However, their lead didn’t last long, as Carroll scored the next nine points, ending the half with a 21-point lead. “In the first half we had a lot of defensive lapses,” Shotts said.

Along with the defensive lapses, the team had trouble keeping possession of the ball. “We didn’t lose because they had some kind of standout performance, we just didn’t play well,” said forward Mallory Scharf ’11. “There were 37 turnovers.”

Though disappointing defensive play and poor handling may have decided the game, individual offensive play was solid. An injured Jodi Watkins ’09 was the top scorer, with 14 points, with center Jessica Vaverka ’11 close behind her with 11, and Shotts with 10.

St. Norbert, though a closer game in numbers, presented more of a challenge to the Pioneers. “It was a hard game, it got violent,” Shotts said. “There were a lot of fouls against them and us. They’re a really scrappy team, really handsy.”

The Pioneers began the game solidly, garnering an early 12-11 lead early on. However, the St. Norbert Green Knights capitalized with a few good runs, putting the Pioneers on the backburner. “We had a good lead in the first half and they only outscored us by one in the second half,” said forward Emma Peterson ’10. “It’s frustrating because we’ll be right there with them and then they’ll just pull away.” By halftime St. Norbert had pulled ahead by 20 points and did not look back.

Despite two tough losses, the Pioneer women remain optimistic. “Team morale and attitude has been a lot better in the past couple weeks,” Scharf said. “The small successes along the way have really helped lead to where we are now.

The team travels to Wisconsin this weekend to face off against Lawrence University this Friday and Carroll University on Saturday.