The women’s basketball team is coming off a less than spectacular 2011-12 campaign. Last season, they finished with a record of 8-20; in 2010-11, the team finished 15-12. KU wants to get back on track after their poor performance last season, and a handful of returning starters hope to make this goal a reality. Their first opponent was Goldey-Beacom College.
Despite a strong effort, KU (0-1) was unable to win their season opener losing to Goldey-Beacom (3-0) 67-66. This game literally came down to the final seconds with the ball in the opposition’s hands.
In the first half, KU came out very cold. Their shooting by the end of the first half was a miserable 28%, going 8-28 in their shots. Three-point shooting was worse, making one of four shots. Even so, KU was not far behind Goldey-Beacom at the end of the first half as it finished 33-29. Goldey-Beacom’s shooting percentage was much better at 38%, but nothing great.
When the second half began, KU ignited thanks to junior Alyssa Bonenberger. She scored the first six points of the second half for KU to take a two-point lead. The Golden Bears led for nearly all of the second half. With two minutes left, KU was even up by seven points, 66-59.
A strong effort by Goldey-Beacom’s Devonne Richardson pushed her team past KU. She recorded back-to-back free throws, recorded an assist, grabbed two defensive rebounds and even recorded a steal in the last two minutes. With eleven seconds left, Richardson cleaned the backboard off an Ashley Wood jump shot. Richardson dished the ball down the court to Jacinda Jones. Jones took the shot with three seconds left and sunk it to win the game.
Thankfully for KU, this was only the first game of the year, but the Golden Bears can’t be complacent. There is a lot of room for a improvement this year. With that said, they did have a few good performances in this last outing. Bonenberger was by far one of the stars this game. Her 16 points and six rebounds made her a force on the court. With similar numbers, freshman Natalya Lee recorded 11 points and six rebounds.
Junior Avery Hodgson had a decent game too. She was perfect from the line, making all six free throws. She finished with 10 points, but shot only 3-8. Her four assists contributed well for the team, but similar to last season, her turnovers are becoming a burden on the team’s production. Senior Ashley Wood was able to help as well with 10 points and five assist, but she too had turnover problems. KU turned the ball over 14 times; half of the turnovers coming from Wood and Hodgson.
As a team, KU looked strong in the second half shooting-wise. After shooting under 40%, the Golden Bears shot 57% in the second half. KU also capitalized on turnovers very well in the second half with 13 point as a result. Other strong spots for KU in the second half were bench points. This gave them the boost they needed to almost take the game from Goldey-Beacom.
Though it’s only been one game, KU’s weaknesses are glaringly obvious. The Golden Bears are just way too small. They were out-rebounded 44-36 and were dominated in the paint. Goldey-Beacom muscled their way under the net, scoring 28 total points in the game from the paint. KU managed a miniscule 14, half as many points as Goldey-Beacom. Only two players on the team are 6-0, which leaves KU at a major size disadvantage.
Hopefully the Golden Bears can address there issues in size and possibly start shooting the long ball if necessary. Regardless, coach Janet Malouf is bound to have the team ready for their next game Tuesday, Nov. 20 at home.
By Jordan Musoff