Senior forward Nicole Anderson finished her final season on the University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team with her statistically most successful season as a Greyhound.
The women fell to the Lewis University Flyers in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Tournament semifinals on March 4. Despite the loss, the women finished the season with a 17-14 record, the best since the 2013-14 season. This was also the first time the team made its way to the semifinals since the 2012 season.
Following tip-off, the Hounds had the lead most of the quarter until the Flyers took it with one point in the final minutes. Little scoring occurred in the first, with the Flyers leading 8-7. The Hounds took the lead once more in the second quarter, before giving it up for the rest of the game.
Scoring picked up by both sides in the second half, but the Hounds continued to trail behind the Flyers, losing with the score of 69-50.
In Anderson’s final game, she recorded seven points and three assists, following behind junior guard Martha Burse with 11 and Junior guard/forward Sydney Brackemyre with 8.
Prior to the semifinal play, the Hounds earned their spot by defeating the 21st ranked University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles in the quarterfinals on March 3.
The Hounds quickly gained the advantage in the second score of the game, and maintained the lead for the rest of the match-up. The women led up to 30 points through out the course of the game, and finished with a 66-48 win.
Brackemyre and Burse led the team in scoring, each with 17 points, followed by Anderson with 13 and junior guard Sarah Costello.
Anderson was looking forward to the game against USI because of the rivalry during past games the teams have played.
“I’m really excited,” Anderson said. “We always have good games with USI. I mean, it’s a pretty big rivalry, I think. So I’m pretty excited, especially since we’re the underdog going into it. I like being the underdog. We don’t really have anything to lose going into this game.”
To get to the quarterfinals, the Hounds beat the William Jewell Cardinals 66-48 on Feb. 26. UIndy had a double-digit lead over the Cardinals in the first quarter and was able to reclaim it late in the second. Burse and Brackemyre scored 26 of the Hounds’ 37 points earned in the first half. For the remainder of the game, the Hounds led by at least 10 points. Brackemyre and Anderson also scored in the double digits, with 15 and 11 points, respectively. The Hounds also out re-bounded the Cardinals 36-24 and had 26 field goals with 12 assists. At the end of the third quarter, the score stood 54-37, and the Hounds stretched the lead into a win with 12 points in the final quarter.
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kristin Drabyn said the win came from teamwork, good ball movement and the overall energy of the team and bench.
“First off, they moved the ball so well that game. They played great team basketball. And when we have good ball movement, a lot of people are able to get good touches and scores,” Drabyn said. “I thought that, defensively, we really honed in on who their better players were. We limited their touches, and the girls had a lot of energy, and I thought our bench had a lot of energy as well. It [the win] was great for the program and for those kids who have been through a lot, battled injuries and things of that nature.”
Anderson said that the team played well both defensively and offensively in order to pick up the win.
“I thought we just played really well defensively. One of their leading scorers only had six points. And then we played well offensively, moved the ball, and just played really well as a team altogether,” Anderson said.
Both Drabyn and Anderson agreed that their season had ups and downs. Drabyn attributes that to the injuries the team faced but was impressed with the way the team has responded.
“We’ve battled some injuries throughout the year, and that’s been tough, but our kids have responded,” Drabyn said. “They’ve gotten better, they’ve grown and they’ve kind of grasped what we want from them. We’ve seen a ton of improvement by a lot of the kids, and just wanting to work harder every day. So all-in-all I think they’ve done a nice job.”
The upcoming games are Anderson’s final games as a Greyhound. She said that she has enjoyed her years as a part of the team, including her last one with the new coaching staff.
“It’s been a great three years here, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything,” Anderson said. “I’ve loved all my teammates, and it’s been great with the new coaches in here this year for my last year. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”
Drabyn said that the team will shift into a new mode for their final games of the season.
“This is tournament time. It’s survive and advance,” she said. “You figure out how to win Friday in order to get to Saturday. And we tell the kids that you worry about Friday, and we’ll [coaching staff] worry about anything else after that.”