Women’s basketball ends losing streak with 50-point victory

By James Stein Dec 3, 2021
CCIW Player of the Week Lauren Huber faces down a Fightin’ Engineer in the first round of the Midwest Challenge tournament. Photo: Kodiak Creative
CCIW Player of the Week Lauren Huber faces down a Fightin’ Engineer in the first round of the Midwest Challenge tournament. Photo: Kodiak Creative

The Illinois Wesleyan women’s basketball team recovered from back-to-back losses in last weekend’s tournament with a massive 50-point win against Eureka College on Wednesday, December 1. 

 

The victory placed the Titans at 2-4 for the season so far and bumped the Red Devils to 2-3 in conference play. 

 

The Titans scored 14-for-20 within the first quarter of the game, taking an early lead, and opened the game with a nine-point streak. 

 

Freshman Kate Palmer assisted senior Catie Eck with a three-pointer with four minutes left in the period. Juniors Kelly Carlson and Hannah Smith each added buckets before the time ran out, alongside Eck and fellow senior Brooke Lansford. The Titans were up 39-10 by halftime. 

 

Steady offensive moves by the Titans broke IWU’s previous highest-scoring quarter, which was previously set at 37. 

 

The second half of the game showed no improvement on Eureka’s part. Unable to make up the early deficit, the Sun Devils fell further behind as the game went on. The game ended in a resounding 91-41, effectively closing out the Titan’s three-game losing streak.

 

Earlier this week, the Titans brought home a pair of losses in the Midwest Challenge tournament against Rose-Hulman and Washington University.

 

The Titans faced off against the Rose-Hulman Fightin’ Engineers in the first leg of the tournament. Freshmen Lauren Huber and Mallory Powers assisted the Titans to an early lead in the first quarter. 

 

Rose-Hulman did not leave the lead unmatched for long, using the second and third quarters to make up the difference. By the fourth quarter, the Titans and the Engineers stood at 54-54. 

 

Powers added a three-pointer with only four minutes left to bring the Titans up 57-54. The Engineers fought back again with a layup and an additional three-pointer. 

 

Huber sent the game into overtime when she tied the scores up at 59 with a put-back off of an offensive rebound. 

 

The Engineers made quick work of the extra quarter, adding six points to their score with 1:52 left. Huber landed a jump shot and a freethrow before time was up. But it was not enough to bring back the Titans’ lead. 

 

The first game of the Midwest Challenge tournament ended in a 67-64 win for Rose-Hulman. 

 

Huber set a career record for herself with 31 total points scored and 13-of-17 from the freethrow line. Powers also reached double digits with an additional 11 points. 

 

Alongside the freshman duo, senior Brooke Lansford provided five assists. Fellow senior Kaia Bowen managed seven rebounds to tie for the team-high with Huber and Powers. 

 

Huber also held on to the game-high of five steals. Freshman Kate Palmer was credited with four swipes for the Titans. 

 

The Titans welcomed WashU to Shirk Center the next day, Sunday, Nov. 28, for the second game of the tournament. 

 

Early in the game, the Bears managed a 22-point lead that the Titans never fully recovered from. By halftime, the Titans were down 49-27. 

 

The break at halftime seemed to do the Titans some good. Senior Catie Eck took the lead with a triple, followed by two layups assisted by Huber. 

Junior Katelyn Heller finalized a 13-point Titan run with another layup to bring the deficit to a narrow 49-40. 

 

Following a pair of baskets by the Bears, junior Kelly Carlson assisted Powers for a bucket. Palmer also added a basket, bringing the Titans back within seven points of WashU. 

 

Despite the strong comeback, the Titans fell to the Bears 83-72. 

 

Huber revealed herself as a powerhouse once again, leading with a high of 21 points, three assists, and two steals. Eck and Palmer set season-highs with 15 and 12 points respectively. Heller followed with eight points. 

 

While the Titans took home two losses in the Midwest Challenge tournament, the pair of game this weekend gave Huber a chance to show off her skills. 

 

The College Conference of Illinois Wesleyan took note of these skills and awarded Huber the title of CCIW Player of the Week. Huber is the first Illinois Wesleyan freshman to receive the accolade in conference history. 

 

Huber and the rest of the women’s volleyball team will return on Saturday, December 4 for a home game against Carroll University. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00pm.

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