Women’s basketball struggles on the road

The Spartans are still looking for answers. The women’s basketball squad has struggled on the road the past two weekends, dropping four straight games of University Athletic Association play.

This past weekend, the Spartans faced off against Washington University at St. Louis and the University of Chicago. The team failed to bounce back after narrow single-digit losses from the week before and fell hard against the two powerhouses, slipping to 7-11 on the season.

The Spartans kicked off the weekend against the Chicago, and once again, gave up an early lead in the loss.

The Spartans were led by forwards Kara Hageman and Berit Eppard, who both put up 12 points apiece in a 74-59 point loss. The duo also excelled off the boards, as Hageman pulled down six rebounds, while Eppard grabbed seven off the glass and also added three steals to her stat sheet.

Despite the strong performances, Chicago put four players into double-digit points led by Elizabeth Nye’s game high of 19 points.

The Spartans started off strong, but the Maroons jumped out to a 10-point advantage with 3:09 left on the clock, when a Chicago layup made it 33-23. The Spartans were not about to give up, however, and pulled within six heading into the locker room at the half. The second half, however, was entirely Chicago, as they coasted to victory.

Brooke Orcutt led the Spartans in their upset bid of nationally-ranked Washington on Sunday, but her impressive season high-tying 23-point effort was not enough. The team fell to the hosting Bears 71-60.

Orcutt shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 75 percent from behind the arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Eppard followed her strong play from two days earlier with her fourth career double-double, putting up 15 points and pulling down 10 off the glass. Hageman came off the bench to add nine points and four rebounds.

The Spartans once again started hot but faded down the stretch, falling behind in the first half, following a 14-3 run by the Bears midway through the first half. The Spartans once again fought back into striking distance by the half, going into the locker room down a mere two points, 33-31 following a big three from Jessica McCoy. Coming back out onto the floor, the Bears ran away with it, going up by as much as 12 points, three different times en route to the Spartan loss.

The Spartans will attempt to right the ship as they return home this weekend to face familiar foes. The Spartans are hosting both Washington and Chicago once again this weekend, the final matchup against these two teams this season. The redemption attempt starts Friday night against Chicago at 6 p.m. in Horsburgh Gymnasium.