The Thunder women’s basketball team split a pair of road contests in the CCIW last week. On Saturday, Jan. 19, they fell to the Lady Reds of Carthage College by a score of 68-36 but bounced back on Wednesday night with a 67-52 win over the Elmhurst Bluejays.
Wheaton got off to a slow start on Saturday, falling to an early 14-0 deficit before getting on the scoreboard with 10:52 remaining in the first half by freshman post Hannah Considine’s layup. The Thunder played the Lady Reds evenly for the rest of the first half, entering the intermission trailing 33-17.
Carthage more than doubled Wheaton’s first half field goal percentage, with a 44.8 percent to 21.9 percent edge. The Lady Red defense also held Wheaton to 2-11 from behind the arc.
After the second half opened with a three-pointer by Lady Red Gabby Chapa, Wheaton managed to score the next six points, whittling the margin down to 13. That was the closest they got in the second half, as Carthage responded with an 18-4 run in the next eight minutes. The final was 68-36, Carthage’s largest lead of the night.
Considine led the Thunder in scoring with 14 points, while senior guard Brooke Olson scored 11. Junior post Maris Hovee, the team’s leading rebounder and shot blocker, saw a season-low 12 minutes of action, coming off the bench for the first time this season, as she was returning from an injury that held her out of Wheaton’s previous game. She was held without a field goal.
On Wednesday night, Jan. 23, Wheaton visited Elmhurst to cap off their first run through CCIW round-robin play. The Thunder emerged with a 67-52 win over the Bluejays.
With Hovee back in the starting lineup and at full strength, the Thunder were able to hold Elmhurst’s leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore Fiona McMahon, at bay. McMahon entered the contest averaging over 14 points per game but was held without a field goal in the first half, thanks in part to the defense of Hovee, who entered the intermission with four blocks.
Elmhurst’s second leading scorer, sophomore Tess Godhardt, was held scoreless in the first half, but despite holding the Bluejays’ two leading scorers to a combined two first-half points, the lead was only six at the break as Wheaton held a 28-22 advantage.
Godhardt got going early in the second half, scoring the first four points of the period to cut Elmhurst’s deficit to two, but from that point on, it was all Thunder. Wheaton went on a 21-4 run to push the advantage to a 49-30 margin, a double digit lead that they would never relinquish. Freshman guard Ellie Zeller provided the spark off of the bench for Head Coach Kent Madsen’s squad, scoring a career high 18 points shooting 9-11 and bringing down seven rebounds, including five offensive rebounds.
Olson led the team in scoring with 19 points, and junior Maria Panaggio paced the Thunder in rebounds and assists, totaling nine and five respectively.
Wheaton had the edge in nearly every category, outscoring Elmhurst 15-3 in second chance points, 16-5 off turnovers and 36-14 in the paint.
Despite only scoring one field goal late in the second half, McMahon posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards for the Bluejays, who slip to 9-9 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
Wheaton’s record now stands at 14-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play. They will next be in action Saturday, Jan. 26, at home in King Arena against the Cardinals of North Central College at 5 p.m.
Photo Credit: Allison Freet
Printed in the January 25, 2013, issue of The Wheaton Record. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.