With the help of six 3-pointers by junior guard Kelly Walter, the University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team closed out its regular season Thursday, Feb. 27, with a convincing 72-57 road victory over the Saint Joseph’s College Pumas. The victory helped improve the Greyhounds’ overall record to 22-7, 13-5 in the GLVC.
The Greyhounds never trailed, controlling the lead from their first bucket of the game. UIndy also dominated statistically in the paint, outscoring the Pumas inside 26-19.
The Greyhounds bounced back from two straight losses with a win against the Bellarmine University Knights on Senior Night, Saturday, Feb. 22. The Hounds defeated the Knights 85-70 and had five players score in double digits. Walter led UIndy with 20 points in the victory.
The Hounds hit 27 of 33 free throws and outscored the Knights 38-20 in the paint. Those factors, plus holding Bellarmine to 19 percent shooting in the second half, led to UIndy’s 21st win of the season.
The Greyhounds started the week ranked No. 23 nationally but suffered a 69-54 loss to the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles two days before on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The Greyhounds scored just 12 points in the first half and were down by 30 points before coming up short in their second half effort. UIndy was led by senior guard Rose Savela and senior forward/center Eliza Wortman, both of whom finished the game with nine points.
Sophomore guard Princess German attributed the difference between the two games that week to a strong start and being more aggressive.
“Last game [against USI], we didn’t start very well,” German said. “We didn’t play like ourselves at all.”
Against the Screaming Eagles, the team shot just 33 percent from the field and 15 percent from 3-point range, which was uncharacteristic in comparison to the season overall of 47 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Constantin Popa and German both mentioned that the differences in intensity were a major factor in the two games that week.
“I always talk about being ready from the get-go,” Popa said. “And tonight [against Bellarmine] was a great team performance, and that’s what I’m always looking for.”
The Greyhounds’ troubles, prior to the victory over Bellarmine, may have been due to adjusting to the loss of senior guard Katy McIntosh. McIntosh was not only a consistent and valuable starter for the Greyhounds, but started every game since her freshman season, prior to being injured.
“McIntosh has been here for four years and is a major player for our team,” Popa said. “The good thing about it is that this year we have a lot of players ready to go and step up to the challenge.”
Popa noted that the team had to make a few changes on the offensive end after the loss of McIntosh and be a little more patient. He also emphasized the team’s focus on sharing the ball, which was prevalent in the win over the Knights, as the team had 18 assists.
Looking forward to tournament play in March, Popa said that the team is going to take everything one game at a time and focus on what is directly ahead of them.
German expressed her confidence in herself and the team’s ability to step up and be successful throughout the remainder of the season.
“I need to bring more aggressiveness, [show] leadership and grab some more rebounds,” German said. “If we play like we played this game [against Bellarmine], and everyone keeps bringing the same intensity, we’ll be all right.”
The Greyhounds, after receiving a bye as the No. 4 seed in the upcoming 2014 Deaconess GLVC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament, will prepare to take on the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., on Thursday, March 6, for a quarterfinals matchup. Game time is set for 12 p.m. CST.