Suffocating defense capped off by Brittany Hogen’s 15 rebounds solidifies a brilliant home-stand for the Rangers.
Showcasing a non-conference match-up against an NAIA opponent, UW-Parkside (2-0) (8-1) hosted Cardinal Stritch (0-0) (10-2) at DeSimone Gymnasium in Kenosha, WI.
While an efficient offensive performance contributed to the 72-45 blowout, defensive execution proved to be the most significant factor. The Wolves were stifled to a rancid 27 percent (17-of-62) shooting for the game.
“Our guards played great pressure defense making it tough for their shooters,” said a complacent Hogen, Parkside’s junior forward out of Arlington Heights, Illinois. “That kind of thing allows me to focus on crashing the boards.”
With a tremendous effort from Hogen and the front-court, Parkside out-rebounded CSU 47-30.
Despite 60 minutes of punishing physicality just a day before, both squads utilized their sharp-shooters to garner offense.
Encouraged by Beth Gilgenbach’s two three’s from deep along with 13 points, trigger-happy Cardinal Stritch launched 25 total attempts from behind the arc. They only managed to knock down five of those.
Senior guard Amanda Gibson delivered perimeter offense of her own. She dialed from long distance on three occasions in the first half alone.
Riding Gibson’s scoring burst, UWP secured a 35-28 advantage at the break.
While Stritch boasted a more flashy arsenal of scoring weapons, Parkside’s patience and high percentage shot selection proved to be the more valuable commodity. Fueled by Jadee Rooney’s nine assists, the high-octane offense flourished behind the guard’s savvy decision-making.
“We responded by playing smarter in the second half,” cited Parkside head coach Jenny Kenesie. “We had an intensity and a discipline which made a huge difference.”
Courtesy of six straight points by Brittany Beyer mid-way through the second half, the Rangers broke open the lead and never looked back. The versatile sophomore completed action with 15 points and four assists.
Exemplifying another superb effort in a reserve role, sophomore forward Amy Selk tallied nine points and six rebounds. Freshmen Kristen Ruchti and Cheryl Leyns also came off the bench for quality minutes.
Set for a six-game road trip, the Rangers will enter Olivet Nazarene on a positive note. Tip-off is slated for Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 pm.
The upcoming slew of away games will be highlighted by four crucial Great Lakes Valley Conference bouts: Bellarmine, Kentucky Wesleyan, Illinois-Springfield, and Saint Joseph’s. UWP will not return home until Thursday, Jan. 14 when they host conference rival Drury.
“It’ll be a test but we have to be ready to go,” assured Kenesie. “We’ve put ourselves in a great position so now it’s a matter of going out and taking care of business.”