Two steps back in final stretch for GLIAC

It was a disappointing week for the women’s basketball team as the lady Cardinals dropped each of their two games.

The 64-63 loss to Northern Michigan followed by the 73-63 loss to Michigan Tech brought SVSU’s record to 12-9 overall and 10-8 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The 10-8 league record is good enough for fourth in the GLIAC north division.

Both losses come after SVSU had won six straight games. Coach Jamie Pewinski said she thinks the up-and-down season will be great for the team in terms of dealing with adversity.

“We have a group of athletes that believe in each other and even though we’ve had kids in and out with injury, they refuse to use it as an excuse,” she said. “Many times we get caught up in the outcome, but that isn’t the only thing that matters in the big picture of teaching kids how to handle adversity and stay together when things are tough.”

Saturday’s loss to Michigan Tech saw the team uncharacteristically get off to a slow start.

The Huskies took the lead early on and held it until a little under seven minutes in, when senior guard Kristen Greene drilled a three-point opportunity to tie the game at 15.

Michigan Tech then went on a 6-0 run before extending its lead even more to eventually take a 33-25 lead over the Cards.

SVSU would cut into the Huskies’ lead before heading into the locker room to regroup, trailing 37-31.

The Cardinals shot a little under 50 percent of their field goal tries in the first half while going three of seven from beyond the arch and two of three from the line.

Sophomore guard Katelyn Carriere led the team in first half scoring with eight points while also adding a team-leading three assists.

Greene had a team-best eight rebounds.

Solid play from the Cardinals’ defense early on allowed the team to pull within two points before Tech once again went on a 6-0 run.

Showing its mental toughness, the Cards once again drew within just two points of a tie, but the Huskies proved to be too tough and pulled away, holding on for the ten-point victory.

Junior forward Samantha Zirzow led the team in scoring with 18 points. Carriere and Greene were close behind with 15 and 11, respectively. Carriere led the team with seven assists while Greene’s eight rebounds were still good enough to lead the team.

Despite out rebounding the Huskies 38-31, SVSU was dominated in the paint, getting outscored 30-16.

Thursday’s contest against Northern Michigan was close throughout.

SVSU jumped to an early lead before the Wildcats stormed back to take the lead, 20-15.

The lead would continue to be passed between both teams before Greene drilled a basket as the time expired to end the first half with the Cardinals in front.

Greene led the team in first half scoring with 10 points, also adding seven rebounds.

Zirzow led in assists with three.

Northern Michigan would tie the game up right away to start the second half of play. Carriere immediately nailed a jumper to give the Cards the lead, a lead they would hold onto until there was just under three minutes left in the game.

A 54-45 lead with three minutes left was not enough to put away the Wildcats, as they stormed back to tie the game up. Once again, the Cardinals fought back into game and took the lead.

Leading 63-62 with 22 second left, foul trouble gave way for the Wildcats to regain the lead.

A last-second shot from the Cards just missed and Northern Michigan was able to hold on for the victory.

Despite the loss, Pewinski said she was proud of her team.

“I am so unbelievably proud of the effort we showed as we played our hearts out,” she said. “It’s a heartbreaking loss, because we deserved to win, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.”

Pewinski added that despite the losses, it is good to see how much the team’s mentality has changed during the course of the season.

“The biggest thing I’ll take away from this loss is the step our program just took,” she said. “We no longer enjoy just being close in games. We believe that we can and should win games like this and when we are faced with a similar situation, we will be ready for a different outcome.”

Carriere led the lady Cardinals in scoring with 16 points while Greene and Zirzow both added 15 and 12, respectively.

Greene led SVSU in both assists (3) and rebounds (10).

Next up for the Cardinals is another road contest against rival Grand Valley State University. The game will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 17th, 2014 and is filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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