A season full of ups and downs continued for John Carroll University’s Women’s Basketball Team this Saturday, as it lost to Ohio Northern 64-55.
The game started off slow. JCU would take its first lead of the game when sophomore Rachael Price made a three-pointer to put the Blue Streaks up by three at the 14:54 mark.
Play continued to be tense between JCU and ONU, as the difference in the score was no more than four for the first 11 minutes of regulation.
Things quickly changed with 8:38 remaining in the first half. ONU’s Leah Zimmerman would hit a three-point shot, making the score 20-14 in favor of the Polar Bears.
JCU would not be able to take another lead in the first half. Sophomore Sara Sweeney hit a shot with three seconds remaining to cut the Blue Streaks’ halftime deficit to 33-26.
Down but not out, JCU would come out strong against ONU. Sophomore Alex D’Amico came in and hit a three with 15:42 remaining to tie the game, 35-35.
D’Amico again would help the Blue Streaks pull close to the Polar Bears at the 11:21 mark, when she scored to put JCU’s deficit at one. Freshman Caitlin Sureck supported the Blue Streaks’ cause, making both of her free throws to put JCU up, 45-44 with 10:46 remaining.
However, JCU could not keep up with the Polar Bears. With 5:08 to go, ONU’s Tara Butler would put her team up 56-49 after a made basket and foul shot.
ONU’s defense in the final minutes of the game would seal a win, as the Blue Streaks would not score in the last two and a half minutes of play.
Senior Jessica Gibbons gave JCU its best offensive effort, scoring 15 points. Tracey Prosinski, Gibbons’ classmate, also contributed, scoring 11 points in her 6th Man role.
JCU found success on Jan. 31 at Mount Union, where the team beat the Purple Raiders, 63-56 in a come from behind victory.
Sureck would score the first basket of the game, but the Blue Streaks would hold the lead just other time during the first half. This lead occurred at the 10:45 mark when freshman Whitney Hamilton would score on a jump shot to put JCU ahead, 10-9.
Unfortunately, the Purple Raiders would score the next basket and maintain the lead right into halftime, where they held a 30-24 advantage.
Mount Union would continue to hold the lead until senior Allison Kern hit a jump shot with 7:43 remaining in the second half to put JCU up 43-42.
Although MUC would cut the Blue Streaks’ lead to two with 2:23 left, JCU responded with a lay-up by Price and two free throws by Prosinski. The Blue Streaks would not give up the lead for the remainder of regulation.
Four players scored in double figures against Mount Union. Price led the way, scoring 20 points. Prosinski came in to score 12, and both Hamilton and Sureck chipped in ten points.
To win its last four games, the Blue Streaks will need to work hard on both defense and offense. On defense, Sureck currently leads the Ohio Athletic Conference in blocked shots with 37, and Prosinski is second in defensive rebounds, averaging 5.40 per game.
Four JCU players are all averaging points in the double figures. Kern is second in the OAC in offensive rebounds, averaging 3.40 per game, while Price is shooting a league-best 84% from the free-throw line.
Prosinski says the Blue Streaks key to finishing a strong season will be to play a “solid 40 minutes of basketball each game.” She added, “In the last few games we have had the shots to win, but we could not get the scores. We need to hit our shots from the start, and not rely on last minute efforts.”
Sophomore Sara Sweeney feels to end the season strong, JCU must have intensity for the next four games. “In the last few games, we have been coming out weak in the first half and stronger second half,” said Sweeney.
Currently, the Blue Streaks stand at 7-14, 4-10 in the OAC. On Wednesday, JCU will travel to Tiffin, Ohio, to play Heidelberg College in a 7:30 p.m. contest.
The Blue Streaks last home game of the season will occur on Feb. 14, when cross-town rival Baldwin-Wallace will come to the DeCarlo Center.
In order for JCU to beat B-W, Prosinski says rebounding will need to be a factor in the game. Prosinski explained, “We need to be aggressive on the boards and take away B-W’s second or third shot attempts which to spark our own transition scores.”