Coming off of a thrilling triple overtime contest against Missouri S&T on Thursday night, the women’s basketball team picked up their sixteenth straight win at home Saturday afternoon. Parkside played an in-conference match up against the Maryville Saints, and came out with a 70-60 victory.
“I felt like we lacked a lot of energy out on the floor. We’re fortunate to get this one,” notes head coach Jenny Kenesie. “We pulled just enough away down the stretch to get the win.”
This game was rough in the first half for Parkside. The offense appeared to be getting flustered with Maryville’s defense, and was being forced away from high percentage shooting areas. At the same time, Parkside was not doing themselves any favors with the amount of turnovers being dealt out. The team combined for twelve turnovers in the first half, which lead to thirteen points for Maryville.
“Our kids did not take good care of the basketball,” admitted coach Kenesie. “I think we were playing passive, and playing tentative. When you do that it’s easy to turn the basketball over, and that’s what we did.”
Parkside finally started to settle down offensively towards the end of the first half. Junior guard Jadee Rooney downed two straight three-pointers to knot things up for Parkside, who had trailed by as much as eight in the first half. From there, Parkside’s offense began to get into its stride.
The second half opened just the way it needed to for Parkside. They started with a one point lead out of the half, but overwhelmed Maryville to start the second. Senior center Brittany Hogen began the charge, as Parkside finally started breaking through Maryville’s defense, and getting shots in the paint to fall in with better succession. Also doing damage to start the half was junior Brittany Beyer, who would end with a game team high of eight points.
“That was just unselfish basketball,” said coach Kenesie, in regards to the start of the second half. “Making the extra passes, finding the open man, and hitting the open shots, whether they be lay ups or Beyer hitting some jump shots early in that second half.”
Just after Parkside pulled ahead by ten points, Brittany Hogen netted her 1,000th career point. By doing so, she becomes the fourteenth player in Parkside history to reach that plateau, and joins teammate Brittany Beyer, who accomplished her milestone in a rout against Illinois-Springfield, and assistant coach Amanda Gibson, who accomplished the feat playing alongside both Hogen and Beyer last season.
“It’s a testament to [Hogen’s] hard work and her commitment to the program since she’s been here,” said coach Kenesie. “And to our team. I think we play pretty unselfish. Our kids got her the ball when she needed it, when she was open, and she was able to finish.”
Parkside pulled out a lead as large as fourteen midway through the second half, and survived a late rally by Maryville, whose full court press in the late stages of the game caused some problems. In the end, Parkside won by the final score of 70-60. Next, they’ll take to the road to face the University of Indianapolis and the University of Southern Indiana, where Parkside hopes to improve upon a 3-4 road record on the season.
“We have to prove to ourselves that we can play on the road,” stated coach Kenesie, “because we haven’t done that this year. It’s been kind of our Achilles’ heel and something we’ve struggled with. It’s time for our leadership and our experience, more than anything, to step up and be confident in these games on the road.”
Parkside’s next game at home will take place Thursday February 3rd against Lewis University. The game starts at 5:30pm at DeSimone Gymnasium, and Parkside looks to extend their home winning streak up to seventeen straight games.