Women’s basketball snap four-game win streak

Annabel Graettinger makes a move against Mizzou inside a packed Western Hall.


Annabel Graettinger makes a move against Mizzou inside a packed Western Hall.

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

MACOMB Ill. — The Western Illinois women’s basketball team got upended by the University of South Dakota Saturday evening, 83-61. The Coyotes cap off a 10-game winning streak and continued their dominance as a top ranked team.

It was the second half, though, that let the Coyotes do their thing. With just an 11-point lead at halftime, the Coyotes stepped on the gas and did not let up, outscoring the Leathernecks 44-33 in the second half alone. A large part of the Coyotes success came from Hannah Sjervin. She had 20 points and six blocks, 16 of those points coming in the second half.

Sjervin let her inside game do the talking as her 6-foot-2 frame let her dominate in the paint, getting easy layups and drawing fouls. She went 8-12 from the charity stripe, dramatically affecting the pace of the game. The best part of the game for USD wasn’t just Sjervin, but rather that three other Coyotes also scored in double digits.

Ciara Duffy went 7-11 shooting tallying up 18 points. Chloe Lamb ended the game with 17 points and lastly Taylor Frederick finished with 10. This game was all about the Coyotes and their dominant run. Western Illinois was simply a thin wall trying to stop a juggernaut.

For Western, there were two highlights. First, Olivia Kauffman, who had 15 points, also had a steal in which she took the ball and went around the court to find a bucket. Second was the free throw shooting. Annabel Graettinger led the way with 11 free throws going perfect from the line, and as a team the Leathernecks went 19-24 on the night.

Unfortunately, this will be a game in which head coach JD Gravina will learn more from the mistakes than from the accomplishments. As a team, Western shot 35 percent from the field and nine percent on 26 attempts from deep. One of the worst shooting nights this team has seen in long time, no doubt. They did not take good shots and did not have enough movement and seemed overwhelmed by their opponent.

On defense, the Leathernecks did force 16 turnovers and accumulated six steals, but the matchups were too tough. Now, Western looks forward to their remaining schedule as the Summit League Tournament looms. Two years ago, Western won that tournament and are eager to do it again. Sitting third in the Summit League right now, they are primed to make a run for the title in March.

Western will see South Dakota State on the last game of the season. Before that they play Oral Roberts and Denver. The Leathernecks will look to stay disciplined and focused before tournament.