For the better part of five years, Jessica Koch has been a Griffon who drapes the black and gold.
The senior forward didn’t abandon the Griffons, and when doubt may have surfaced to do so, she stuck it out.
Koch joined a team that lost its 2006-07 MIAA Championship trophy due to playing illegal players. She is the only that remains that was a part of the team that dealt with the controversy of a new head coach, and what had happened the previous season. The Kansas City native tore her ACL that year, thus granting her a fifth season. She has taken advantage of it.
Her quest to be the greatest Griffon scorer of all time could be the result of her decision to not leave Western. Koch, who has been on the team since the 2007-08 season, is just 131 points away from the all-time leader in points scored. With seven games remaining, the charismatic Koch has remained quiet about the record — either because it quietly happened, or because she cares more about the team.
Koch started the season with just less than 550 points to score in order to receive the record. With a record that averages out to about 19 points per game, it is definitely within reach.
Koch averages 23.2 points per game, which happens to be seven points higher than any other player in the MIAA. She is arguably the player of the year in the conference so far.
Some players that can help Koch achieve this mark include center Brittany Griswold (though she is currently out with a foot injury), guard Alicia Bell and fellow senior Ashleigh Curry. Curry has only played in four games this season, but the speedster currently is the second-scorer on the team since playing and makes shots behind the arc that take away some attention from Koch.
Koch is also helped by playing six 40-minute games this year, and against Southwest Baptist on Jan. 17 she played a 43-minute game.
Whether Koch achieves the feat or not, the final stretch of a glorious career is upon Western. With just two more home games to play at MWSU Fieldhouse, and both at the end of February, Koch may break the record where her career started. And if she happens to come up two points short, she can blame the game clock, as a 60-foot shot dropped in the basket right before halftime Monday night against Fort Hays State, but her hand was on the ball a half-second too long, negating an otherwise improbable 3-pointer.