Due to injuries and personal reasons, the Missouri Western women’s basketball team has felt many hardships this season, the latest being a 55-49 loss at Nebraska-Kearney, Saturday, Jan 20.
This loss drops the ladies to a 10-9 record while Nebraska-Kearney jump to 14-3.
Nebraska-Kearney scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, three more points than the 26 points they scored in the first three combined quarters.
Even though the women have limited players as of now, Western are down seven players from the original 12 that started the season. Before unfortunate injuries and other off court issues, the ladies were poised to be a top contender in the Mid- America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). They were also the winners in nine of their first ten games.
Every week since this losing skid began a new Griffon athlete has been listed as inactive on the roster.
However the show must go on and the games must be played, so Saturday afternoon the Western ladies took the court with only five players active: Savannah Lentz, Dossou Ndiaye, KeShara Scott, Melia Richardson and Manaia Timson.
Men’s assistant basketball coach Aaron Coombs had some words on the difficulties that the ladies are facing with only five players.
“I can’t imagine it, I just can’t,” Coombs said. “It’s a tribute to coach (Edmisson) and the job he’s doing with his girls, and obvious the girls toughness to stay together and fight. When you look on the bench and there’s no one there it’s gotta be tough.”
The five Western players game began the full throttle in attack mode with a staggering 17-2 run to end the first quarter. The effort from Western continued into the second quarter as they shot an efficient 50 percent from beyond the arc, giving them a nine point lead going into halftime.
Head coach Rob Edmisson and his staff tried to conserve some energy for his five players throughout the game so for nearly 40 minutes Western played a zone defense, which aside from Savannah Lentz’s 21 point career high, nearly cruised the lady Griffons to victory.
However after being frustrated by the zone for three quarters, the Lopers of Nebraska-Kearney made an adjustment and reeled off a 17-2 run in the final three minutes to win the game.
The depleted Western ladies will certainly be considerable underdogs in each of their last nine games this season. Their next challenge will be Saturday, Jan. 27 as they travel to Maryville to take on Northwest Missouri State (1-17) in hopes of getting back on track.
The Griffon News inaccurately reported that there were suspensions in the Jan. 24 print edition.