The John Carroll University women’s basketball team nearly came away with two huge conference wins last week, but had to settle for a split.
They lost to Mount Union College and then were able to hold off a tough Wilmington College team on Feb. 6.
One thing athletes hate to do is look back on games that got away from them and think what could have been. It is easy to say that feeling hit the Blue Streaks after their loss to the Mount Union Purple Raiders in Alliance, Ohio on Feb. 3.
With 7:33 left in the second half and the Blue Streaks holding onto a 12-point lead, the game looked to be locked up. The Purple Raiders broke free from their shooting woes and went on a dominating run as they erased the lead in exactly three minutes.
The game went back and forth with both teams exchanging buckets for the final four minutes. Mount Union was able to capitalize on free throw opportunities down the stretch and it proved to be integral in deciding the outcome, 83-80.
“That game was a hard one to swallow,” said junior Sadie Zander. “The defeat still shows us that we belong in the top part of the OAC.”
Four of the five starters for the Blue Streaks were in double figures with junior Lee Jennings, the top scorer in the Ohio Athletic Conference, leading the way with 30 points.
Following the Mount game JCU made the long trek to Wilmington for a crucial game against the Quakers.
No one would have thought much if the Blue Streaks folded up in the game given the crushing defeat of only a few days earlier.
However, the first half showed that the team was up to the task of putting the Mount Union game behind them.
JCU went into the locker room with a commanding 14-point lead and was up by as many as 18 points during the first half.
The second half brought some flashbacks to the previous game as Wilmington was able to cut the lead all the way down to three points.
John Carroll, however, refused to let this game get away and converted their final five free throw attempts to put the game away, 90-81.
Jennings and senior Caitlin Sureck combined for 51 points in the contest.
With the win, JCU moves to 7-7 in OAC play and now holds the tie-breaker over Wilmington, the team they are currently tied with, in the conference standings.
“Having the tie-breaker with them in our favor is big for us,” Sureck said. “We need to get a couple more key wins to finish the season.”
Three of the team’s last four games will come against opponents who are either currently ahead of or one game back of the Blue Streaks in the conference standings.
“We need to win our last four games,” said senior Laura Gruber. “At this point in the season there is only one thing to do, and that’s to win.”
Editor’s Note: Results from last night’s game against Otterbein were unavailable for this edition of The Carroll News. For details, log on to www.jcusports.com.