Women’s basketball drops two games despite strong effort


Arianna Wage / Observer

Junior Brooke Orcutt looks for her teammates against Washington University last Friday.

Stephen Wong, Contributing Reporter

The Spartans dropped below .500 to 7-9 overall and 1-4 in UAA play this weekend after losing two games to two difficult opponents: Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.
Despite the two losses, head coach Jennifer Reimer believed that the games were not complete losses, “Our number one goal is to always make sure we compete and I thought we played really hard this weekend.”
Friday’s game brought the No. 2 nationally ranked Washington University in St. Louis Bears to Horsburgh Gymnasium. Washington University’s only loss of the season had come at the hands of DePauw University, last year’s Division III National Champion. In spite of the formidability of their opponent, Reimer said her Spartans “are always happy to take a shot at such a good team.”

The Spartans began the game playing very well, as scores exchanged between both teams. The ladies committed only three turnovers in the first half, with five different Spartans scoring and Berit Eppard leading the way on the glass with nine rebounds. Despite ending the first half down 31-17, the deficit was due more to the Spartans’ shots simply not falling rather than taking bad shots.

During the second half, their lack of scoring began to wear on the Spartans as they mustered only 20 points compared to the Bears’ 40. A major part of the Spartans’ struggles was an injury to junior captain Berit Eppard that Reimer explained, “hurt us not only not having Berit on the court, but threw our rotations for a loop.”

The game came to an end with the Spartans losing 71-37. Junior Brooke Orcutt led the team with seven points and tied for assists with Amanda Germer at three.

Sunday’s tilt had the Spartans pitted against the University of Chicago Maroons with Orcutt turning in a career-high game with 27 points while bringing down seven rebounds and dishing two assists. Against the Maroons, who were on a two-game winning streak averaging 91 points over the past three games, the ladies started the game slowly in what coach Reimer described as, “taking the team a few minutes to really get out of the locker room.” After 10:00 minutes in the first half, the Spartans were down 28-16 due to miscommunications on the defensive end as well as Chicago clogging passing and shooting lanes on the offensive side.

But after the last of three early timeouts and a switch to a 2-3 defensive zone, the Spartans were able to slow the Maroons’ fast-paced offense and see their own shots fall as well. The Spartans ended the first half on a 17-6 run and were only down by one point.

Unfortunately, the Spartans could not match their performance in the end of the first half, as coach Reimer believes was due to her team’s “shots not falling early which led us to becoming tight and giving up second chance opportunities.” The Spartans had no answer for the Maroons’ fast-paced offense and were outrebounded 41-31 on the day.

Along with Orcutt’s brilliant performance, Spartan Laura Mummey also factored largely into the game as she poured in 14 points and grabbed five rebounds.

The Spartans will face New York University and Brandeis University this weekend in what promises a tough two games in the UAA. Both teams will bring great defenses with NYU bringing it in a full court press setting and Brandeis with its traditional toughness and physicality. The Spartans will have to learn from the defensive pressure shown to them this weekend by the University of Chicago in their pursuit to get back to .500.