Women hungry for another historic season
By Xavier Sanchez
Last season, the Loras Women’s Basketball team arguably had their best season under the leadership of head coach Justin Heinzen. The Duhawks won 22 games, came in 2nd in the American Rivers Conference, and earned their first at-large bid to make the NCAA tournament. It was a season for the history books for sure, but these Duhawks were still hungry. After about 250 days since their season ending loss to the DePauw Tigers, Loras was ready to get back to work and win some games. Saturday, Nov. 9, the Loras College Duhawks took down the Elmhurst Bluejays 94-59.
“To start off the season with a win is a great, especially after losing our last game last year against Depauw. We wanted nothing more than to be back on the floor as a team,” said sophomore hooper Jaime Ryan.
Duhawks were down by two early in the game but not for long. Junior Marissa Schroeder made a layup to tie the game 7-7 which sparked a 10-0 run by the team. Bluejays fought back and brought the game within two points. The Duhawks stretched it back out by going on another 10-0 run to cap off the final 2:21 second in the first quarter. Duhawks led 25-13.
A layup by senior Macenzie Kraemer at the 8:26 mark gave the Duhawks their biggest lead in the first half of 15 points. Bluejays would not quit as they kept trying to dig themselves out of the hole. They got within eight points but Kraemer capped off the first half with a buzzer beater to push the lead to 10 points. Duhawks still lead 44-34.
Third quarter was much of the same, as the Bluejays were looking to make runs of their own. But the Duhawks were all over it and outscored their opponent by seven by the end of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Duhawks held a 65-48 lead but quickly brought it up. At the sound of the buzzer, Loras remains on top with a 94-59 victory over Elmhurst.
The Duhawks advance to 7-0 against the Bluejays. Their 35-point margin of victory was their largest in their matchup history.
Kraemer lead the Duhawks with 25 points and five steals. She was 9 for 12 on field goals which included three made three’s and a perfect 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. She was one of four Duhawks in double figures. The others include Schroeder with 16 points, senior Kari Fitzpatrick with 15, and junior Courtney Schnoor with 11 points.
Head coach Heinzen utilized his bench by getting 16 different Duhawks in the game on Saturday. Heinzen spoke about the importance of the bench presence both on and off the court.
“The bench holds a lot of potential this year,” he said. The bench contributed a total of 31 points.
Ryan goes on to add, “our bench has a huge impact on the game. We pride our bench on the way they stay active throughout the game with cheering and helping those on the court see what they otherwise wouldn’t during the game.”
It’s a long season but nothing amounts to being able to come home with a victory.
“We went into the game with energy, and came out on top. It was a great start and sets precedent for how we want our season to go,” said Ryan.
The Duhawks play next on Friday, Nov. 15 against the Washington University (Mo.) Bears. This game is not only their season kick off, but also the Loras Tip-Off Classic. Tip off is at 6 p.m..