During this past weekend, the University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team traveled north to compete against a pair of Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents, including the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers on Jan. 29, and a matchup with the No. 1 team in the country on Jan. 31 in the Lewis University Flyers. The Greyhounds walked away empty handed from both games, however, as they fell to the Rangers in overtime 75-66 and failed to pull off the upset over the Flyers, losing 85-73.
Against the No. 1 team in all of NCAA Division II, the Greyhounds kept the game competitive from beginning to end, staying in contention of pulling off the upset throughout the entire contest. UIndy failed to complete the task, however, despite a career-high 31-point performance from the shooting arm of junior guard Princess German.
With 6:13 remaining in the contest, freshman guard Sarah Costello cut the Flyers’ lead to two points, following a successful and one after being fouled during a good layup attempt.
That would be as close as the Greyhounds would get for the remainder of the game, as the Flyers pulled away on a 20-10 to end UIndy’s chances of ending their perfect season.
In their matchup with the Rangers, the Greyhounds had to fight back in the second half of play, as they trailed by 12 with 15:58 remaining in the game. After chipping away at Wisconsin Parkside’s lead during the remaining minutes of the contest, senior guard Kelly Walter connected from beyond the arch with a successful 3-pointer that tied the score up at 58 points. The Rangers failed to answer back with a successful shot of their own in the remaining seconds for the win, which then led to the overtime period.
The Rangers pulled away from the Greyhounds during the extra minutes that followed, as they approached the free throw line a total of 14 times. Wisconsin-Parkside took advantage of those opportunities, connecting successfully on 13 of those 14 attempts. The Greyhounds, on the other hand, only took four free throw attempts during overtime, and shot just 25 percent from the field.
During the week before, the Greyhounds claimed two victories at home over the McKendree University Bearcats and the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars. UIndy claimed an 85-79 victory over the Bearcats in Nicoson Hall on Thursday, Jan. 22, followed by a 58-48 win against the Prairie Stars on Saturday, Jan. 24.
Prior to the Greyhounds’ two victories, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Constantin Popa conceded the importance of both games in relation to the upcoming GLVC Tournament in March, where the top 12 of 16 teams will compete.
“The consistency is the hardest thing to coach, but we’re making progress, and that’s the bottom line,” Popa said.
In the Greyhounds’ victory over the Prairie Stars, the opposition struggled statistically with 23 turnovers, which provided the Hounds with 19 points off those turnovers.
The game consisted of physical play from both sides, with 41 personal fouls committed. The Prairie Stars trailed by nine with five minutes remaining in the second half, but UIndy managed to seal the victory with seven free throws. German led the Greyhounds statistically, posting 24 points, while Walter scored an additional 20 points for UIndy.
Against the Bearcats, UIndy got out to a fast start. McKendree trailed by 10 points within the first three minutes of the game. Walter led the Greyhounds in their victory, contributing 31 points, and freshman guard Sarah Costello posted one of her best statistical performances of the season, putting up 17 points and grabbing four steals. Sophomore forward Nicole Anderson contributed an additional 17 points to the UIndy victory.
This season, the Greyhounds have seen a lot of production from their young roster, which includes eight new players. German said that having to compete together with a new roster this year was an adjustment for the Hounds, but the team has welcomed the newcomers with open arms.
“Seeing my teammates doing well helps me,” German said. “We just have to play it hard all the way through.”
The Greyhounds will return to Nicoson Hall tomorrow evening, when they will host the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons. The conference matchup is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.
The matchup against the Tritons will be the Greyhounds first meeting with that team since knocking them out of last year’s GLVC Championship Tournament during the second round in Evansville, Ind. The Tritons will enter tomorrow’s contest on a two-game winning streak, with a current record of 10-9, 6-5 GLVC, but the Greyhounds will be statistically favored, as they are 6-3 at home, while the Tritons are 3-8 on the road, compared to 7-1 on their home court.