Women’s basketball stay motivated

By Albert Shelby

February 12, 2014

The MIAA basketball tournament is less than a month away, and the women’s chances of reaching the playoffs are slim to none.

        The Griffons have battled through injuries all season. The injury to guard Ariana Novak early in the season proved to be a problem that the team has not been able to shake.

        With Novak’s absence, the Griffons could not find a consistent scorer that could make up for her ability to shoot behind the arc.

        Novak and guard Sharniece Lewis was starting to look promising together, up until Novak’s last game against Missouri S&T.

        Lewis was shooting a team-high 40-percent from three, and Novak was shooting almost 30-percent from the arch.

        After Novak’s injury, Lewis cooled down, and, as of right now, Lewis is making 27-percent of her shots from the three point line.

        An argument can be made that Lewis’s struggles from the arc has stemmed from the loss of her counterpart.

        With both sharp-shooters on the floor, the Griffons much were more difficult to defend.

        The six-game losing streak that the Griffons suffered in the middle of the season could be what contributed to the chances of the women not making the tournament.

        In that span, they lost four games to MIAA opponents, and it took a big hit on their conference record.

        Though they have struggled this year, there is still some fight left in this basketball team. They have won four of their last seven games. Even in their losses, they looked like a team that was figuring things out.

        After a shaky start, guard JQ Dever has come through strong on the defensive side of the ball. In the last seven games, Dever has totaled 14 steals, and seems to have shaken off her injury woes that she was battling in the beginning.

        Forward Tiffanie Abrams, who has my vote for most improved from a year ago, has also stepped up in a huge way.

        Midway through the season, her playing time increased, and since then she is shooting better from the field.

        She recently had two huge games against Lindenwood and rival Northwest, scoring 14 and 13 points respectively.

        Abrams has not only helped with scoring, but  with grabbing rebounds for her team.

        Forward Quenisha Lockett may have been the most consistent player for the Griffons all season. Lockett is shooting 54-percent from the field, and she is also a force on the boards.

        Earlier in the season, she dropped a career-high 19 points against Northeastern State, while recently dropping 17 points against Lindenwood in a home victory.

        Lockett averages six rebounds and almost 10 points a game.

        Though there are only five games left in the season, the Griffons still have a lot to play for. Chances of reaching the tournament are extremely low, but taking this season out the right way is more important at this point.

        If a majority of the ladies return next year, finishing out this season strong can be a start to a healthy and promising season for the Griffons next fall.