Last week, the Griffons had a rough road trip to finish up the winter break.
On Wed., Jan. 8, the Griffons fell short on the road to No. 3 Emporia State.
Western was neck-and-neck with the Lady Hornets throughout the first half. After falling behind due to a 17-9 run by Emporia State, the Griffons answered with an 11-0 run of their own to tie the game at 17 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
However, an 11-0 run by the Lady Hornets put the Griffons at a 15-point deficit, 41-26, going into halftime.
Forward Jallisa Lewis scored all 10 of her points in the first half, leading the team.
The Griffons shot 45.8 percent from the field and picked up 11 rebounds in the opening frame.
The Lady Hornets shot for 57.1-percent, including 8-of-9 from the line. They also collected 17 rebounds. At the half, 30 of Emporia State’s points were in the paint. Emporia State also scored 13 points off of nine Western turnovers.
Western opened up the second half with a 7-2 run, making the score 43-33 with 17 minutes remaining.
They would keep it within 10 points until the Lady Hornets went for a 10-0 run, giving them the largest lead of the game at 57-37.
Western fought hard for the remainder of the game, but ultimately fell short.
The Lady Hornets improve to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in MIAA play.
The Griffons shot 37.3 percent on the night and 61.1-percent from the line, making 11 of their 18 free throws.
Forward Quenisha Lockett lead the Griffons with 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting and seven rebounds.
“[The loss of Ariana Novak] has been huge,” head coach Rob Edmisson said. “She was our leading scorer, our leader in steals and our assists leader. Not having her has put a lot of pressure on some other kids, so it’s made a huge impact.”
Then Western traveled to Pittsburg, Kan. to face off against the Gorillas of Pittsburg State.
The Griffons opened the half by jumping to a 10-5 lead in the first five minutes.
At the midway point in the half, Western claimed its biggest lead of seven, with a score of 21-14.
But Pitt State fought back with a 11-4 run, claiming their first lead of the game at 25-24 with 7:31 remaining.
The remainder of the first half was hard-fought, with both teams going back and forth. A three-pointer by guard Tanner Tripp sent the Griffons into the locker room at half-time with a 35-34 lead over the Gorillas.
Western shot 40.7 percent from the field, making 11-of-27. They also landed half of their shots from beyond the arc, making 5-of-10.
The Gorillas went 9-for-18 from the field and 2-for-3 from long-range in the first half.
However, the first 11 minutes of the second half were dominated by Pitt State. The Gorillas went on a 20-8 run, giving them their biggest lead of the game, 54-43, with 9:15 left.
Western tried to chip away at the deficit, getting as close as 67-63 with 3:01 remaining. But, the Gorillas would come away with a 74-69 victory.
Overall, the Griffons would make 45.1 percent of shots from the field, and 41.2 percent from long-range.
Krysten Crawford had a career-high 15 points, going 5-of-8 shots and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Sharniece Lewis added 14 points and Tiara Hall collected eight rebounds.
As a team, Pitt State made 18-of-36 shots from the field, and 57.1 percent of their shots from long range.
The Gorillas are now 11-4 overall and 4-1 in MIAA play.
The Griffons fall to 5-6 overall and 1-5 in MIAA action.
“In terms of our success in conference, we’ve struggled. We’re not where we hoped to be,” Edmisson said. “So now, we’re just trying to find a way to jumpstart the new year. Hopefully, the second semester will be more productive.”
They return to the court on Sat., Jan. 18, when the Griffons welcome the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m.