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January 31, 2014

Women's basketball struggles against Grizzlies

By Lalita Smith

In a bitter 73-62 loss to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies on Jan. 23 at the Wolstein Center, the women’s basketball team fell to 3-2 in conference play.

Although the Vikings held a strong 16-7 lead after an early scoring spurt led by starters Imani Gordon and Haley Schmitt, a series of missed shot opportunities by the Vikings allowed the Grizzlies to close that gap to only one.

After a slow offensive start for the Vikings coming into the second half and six quick points from the Grizzlies, they found themselves down 32-36.

The Vikings continued to struggle both offensively and defensively throughout the rest of the half and despite a last minute rally near the end of the game. It was too little too late.

“I didn’t feel like we played very well like a unit, and that showed, especially on the defense,” head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said.

Not only did the Vikings allow 16 points off turnovers, they also shot 37 percent from field goal range and only 14 percent from 3-point range.

“We had trouble getting any continuity on offense and that really was why we shot the ball so poorly. We had probably our worst shooting game of the year and one of our worst defensive games as well,” coach Peterson Abiad said.

Despite the troubles the team had in the loss against Oakland, starting forward Imani Gordon finished with an impressive 27 points, 4 steals and 20 rebounds.

“I’m just trying to stay consistent for my team. I know I have to have a good game every night so I just try to do it every night,” Gordon said.

Staying consistent has been the biggest problem for the Vikings this season.
This loss begins a two-game losing streak which comes after a remarkable three-game winning streak that included an exciting 16-point win over Wright State.

“I’ve been saying all year, we need consistency,” coach Peterson Abiad said.

“We need to find a level that’s competitive that we can count on game in and game out. The real struggle will be finding some consistency moving forward.”