MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois University women’s basketball team kicked off a two-game home stand last night with a 89-48 loss to the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits, bringing them down to an even 11-11 record on the season (5-4 in conference). “That was just like a frustrating game. I feel for our players and that’s what I told them after the game. A lot of teams have been there, you know where the game was just over in the first quarter and you got to sit out there and battle,” head coach JD Gravina said after the 41-point loss at home.
The Jackrabbits started out hot right from the first whistle, going on a 14-0 run, forcing Gravina to call a time out. “Yeah, I mean that’s just so tough because you know it’s hard not to feel like you just lost the game in the first four minutes,” Gravina said.
That was the message after the first few minutes of this very one-sided game and his thoughts during that first time out of the game.
Coming out of the timeout, Western still couldn’t figure out how to break through the Jackrabbits’ defense and were forced to take a shot clock violation. It was that kind of night for the Leathernecks.
Scoring wise, SDSU had five players score in the double digits, but just two for Western.
Trying to climb back into the game, junior guard Elizabeth Lutz led the way for the Leathernecks. She had 12 points on the night, all coming from behind the three-point line. She made half of Western’s three-point attempts throughout the game. As a team, they shot a mere 21.2 percent from downtown and 24.6 percent from the rest of the field.
Senior guard Olivia Kaufmann scored 11 points and had two rebounds while redshirt sophomore guard Danni Nichols dropped eight points but led the team with her six rebounds. The usual rebound machine, sophomore forward Evan Zars, had four on the night.
It’s a tough game that they’ll have to put behind them, because it doesn’t get any easier.
“I think we just keep pressing forward,” Lutz said after the game. “We have a lot more games and a lot more opportunities. We have another game on Saturday so we don’t really have the time to get down on ourselves, we just got to keep pressing forward.”
Western will finish the weekend tomorrow night (Feb. 1) at home against the North Dakota State University Bison. NDSU is coming off a 58-44 win to the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons on Thursday. They sit at 6-14 on the season and 3-5 in conference. On top of that they are 2-7 on the road, but are heading into this matchup on a two-game winning streak.
The last time Western and NDSU squared off was back on Jan. 2 in Fargo, N.D. and it saw the Leathernecks come out on top in a 79-78 double overtime thriller. Based on that game, this matchup won’t be one to miss. Tip off is set for 4:30 p.m. tomorrow inside Western Hall