The women’s basketball team continued its perfect start to the young season with a 77-60 victory over the Warriors of Wayne State University. The University of Wisconsin Parkside, coming off of a resounding win over Indiana Northwest, played in front of a fair crowd for a Sunday afternoon at DeSimone Gymnasium, and the crowd that showed up got to see a scrappy game from the Rangers.
“I thought it was a good team effort,” admitted Parkside’s women’s basketball head coach Jenny Kenesie. “Overall we had many people contribute, which made a huge difference.”
The game started off rough for both teams in the first half. Whether you call it good defense or sloppy offense, neither team scored until two minutes and a half were off the board. For the Rangers, they hit a rut early and often on the offensive front. They had trouble breaking through Wayne State’s defense, and it wound up putting them behind very early in the contest. The Rangers went down by as much as eight points in the first half, while allowing fourteen points off of turnovers.
The Rangers’ defense really started finding its stride with gritty play on the boards and heading to ground for loose balls towards the end of the first half. The defensive effort spilled over to the offense, and, after being down by eight, the Rangers started to roll. Jadee Rooney and Jenna Endisch connected for three threes on the Rangers run to go even with Wayne State.
Also having huge contributions was Brittany Hogan, who started to get a rhythm in the paint for the Rangers. Hogan, a senior center, helped the Rangers tie things up and surge forward by getting to the line eight times in the first half, and scoring thirteen first half points. In the end, Brittany Hogan would be the leading scorer of the game with nineteen total points, to go with her two assists, two blocks, and one steal.
The Rangers tied things up after a Brittany Beyer drive to the net with just over two minutes remaining. The Rangers continued to drive past Wayne State, and would go into the half up by nine points. The Rangers’ defense catapulted this surge, as Wayne State didn’t make a shot in the final two minutes of the half.
The second half continued some of the themes of the first half. The Rangers started struggling with passes, and Wayne State’s speed on transition seemed to turn the tables in the opening minutes.
Stepping it up off the bench to shut down the surge for the Rangers was sophomore guard Jaleesa Trussell. Trussell really played strong defense in the second half, and her ability to create turnovers, with four steals, helped slow the game down.
“One positive thing that came out of today was we saw some things off of our bench,” noted coach Kenesie. “Specifically Jaleesa Trussell, who did things she hasn’t really done thus far.”
The Rangers don’t play at DeSimone Gymnasium until Wednesday December 8th when the team plays against Robert Morris University. In their upcoming road trip, the Rangers take on Grand Valley State University, and open up Great Lakes Valley Conference play against Missouri S&T and Rockhurst University.
“Our focus now is going to be on Grand Valley State,” said coach Kenesie. “They’re in the Top 25, and we’re playing at their place. We have to get ourselves prepared. We have to get better. And, if we can do that and then go compete on the road, that’s kind of what we’re looking for.”