The women’s basketball team split it’s away games this week, traveling to Palo Heights, Ill. to play Trinity Christian College on Saturday and traveling to Richmond, Ind. to play Earlham College on Tuesday. The women lost to Trinity Christian 80-75 and soundly defeated Earlham with a 64-46 score.
Saturday’ game left the lady Leafs without two of the team’s senior starters; Erica Yost and Erica Emanuel weren’t able to play due to injuries and sickness, but fellow seniors Lindsay Gangloff and Cassie Grieves stepped up to keep the Leafs in competition against Trinity Christian. Gangloff hit a game-high 27 points, while Grieves grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 18 points.
“With two senior starters sidelined indefinitely with injuries, our other two seniors tried to carry us on the offensive end tonight but we came up a little short at the end,” explained head coach Steve Wiktorowski in a Goleafs.net article. “We really struggled defensively tonight and allowed them way too many free throws and they took advantage…We shot the ball fairly well overall and our press kept us in it at the end, but we couldn’t quite catch them.”
Trinity Christian had a seven point lead going into halftime with a score of 38-31, although the first half was even with competing runs for points. The Leafs shot 48 percent, but did allow 18 turnovers and allowing the Trolls to snatch 17 rebounds from the Leafs’ attack.
The second half saw Trinity continue to score points, increasing their total to 11 with just under 15 minutes left to lay. The Leafs closed the gap to within six points with just over three minutes remaining. However, the Trolls hit well from the line and closed the game with a 80-75 ending score.
Tuesday night saw a victory for the Leafs in a game that started off with two huge scoring runs. After the game began and quickly tied at 4-4, the Leafs took a 12-0 run. Earlham responded by closing the gap to just six points, but the Leafs topped another 12-7 run and hit 13-17 in free-throws before halftime, which saw a 30-19 score.
“I thought rebounding and free throws were two areas on the stat sheet where we excelled tonight, and we were more aggressive in getting after loose balls and pressuring the ball,” Wiktorowski said in a GoLeafs.net article. “I thought it was a very good and balanced team effort where we didn’t rely on any one person to carry us.”
In fact, 11 different players scored for the Leafs, who forced 28 Earlham turnovers and snatched 21 rebounds in the game overall. Wiktorowski noted strong rebounding and defensive efforts as key strengths during the game. Jenna Rusmisel led overall with 10 points and seniors Erica Emanuel and Lindsay Gangloff each scored nine.
The Leafs will begin conference play on Nov. 23 against Spring Arbor University and will be hosting Sienna Heights at 8 p.m. tonight at home.