Women’s Basketball overwhelmed by Lindsey Wilson

Blue Raiders’ superior size, speed, and athleticism help hand Grenadiers their first loss

Freshman+Guard+Isabell+Claywell+tries+to+pass+the+ball+around+Lindsey+Wilson%27s+Reagan+Turner+in+the+second+quarter+of+the+Grenadiers%27+home+matchup+against+the+Blue+Raiders+on+Nov.+7.

Brandon Miniard

Freshman Guard Isabell Claywell tries to pass the ball around Lindsey Wilson’s Reagan Turner in the second quarter of the Grenadiers’ home matchup against the Blue Raiders on Nov. 7.

Brandon Miniard, Sports Editor

The IU Southeast Women’s Basketball team had a solid start to their season, winning their home opener on Oct. 28 against Campbellsville – Harrodsburg 84-67, followed by blowing out Kentucky Christian 90-62 on the road. On Saturday however, the Grenadiers (2-0) faced their first true test of the year when they welcomed Lindsey Wilson College to the Activities Building. The Blue Raiders, currently receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25, opened their season in emphatic fashion, cruising to a 96-66 victory.

“We lost because of [Lindsey Wilson’s] superior athleticism, speed, and strength,” Head Coach Robin Farris said of the Blue Raiders. “It’s really hard to play against teams that are bigger, faster, and can shoot the ball as well.”

The first quarter saw the contest begin with a bitter stalemate, with neither team able to score until two minutes in. After a Maleigha Oldham three to put the Blue Raiders on the board first, both sides continued to go back and forth for much of the period without leading by more than four points. Despite a Leah Miller field goal to give the Grenadiers a one-point lead with seven seconds left, the Blue Raiders answered right back with a layup at the buzzer, taking a 19-18 lead to end the period.

Any hopes for a close contest were dashed beginning in the second quarter, as the Blue Raiders utilized a 16-3 run. Their defense was a big factor in this surge, holding the Grenadiers to no made field goals for more than half the period, scoring one point on a Kirstie Henn free throw. Within the final two minutes of the half, the Grenadiers made an effort to close the deficit, but a last second foul by Lauren Lambdin at halfcourt gave the Blue Raiders three free throws with .4 seconds remaining. Reagan Turner knocked down two of the three charity shots to give the Blue Raiders a 42-30 advantage at halftime.

“[Turner] was just trying to get a shot off with half a second left against our defense,” Farris said of the play. “She was just shooting and we got too aggressive.”

Whatever Farris told his team during the break made little difference, as the Blue Raiders continued their dominance from the moment the second half began. The Grenadiers never trailed by less than 20 points from 6:34 of the third quarter onward, due in part to a 38.9 percent shooting percentage and missing timely shots. The Blue Raiders also took advantage of officiating tendencies in the second half, including a technical foul on Farris for arguing what was reportedly a missed offensive foul against one of his players.

Despite multiple Grenadier threes in the final minutes, including back-to-back triples by Emmy Ralph, the Grenadiers trailed by at least 30 points from 8:30 in the final period until the buzzer rang to seal the contest.

“[Lindsey Wilson] really jumped out at us defensively,” Ralph said. “One moment, we think a lane to the basket would be open, but then all of a sudden, they would all crash inside, so it was really tough to make shots.”

Six Blue Raiders scored in double figures, led by 26 from Turner, who also pulled down seven rebounds and notched five steals. Rose Mary Jackson notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Ralph led the Grenadiers with 19 points and seven assists, while Lambdin scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half. The Grenadiers were outmatched on the backboard 47-34, as well as shooting a frigid 27 percent from three-point range as they suffer their first defeat of the season.

“[Lindsey Wilson] is probably a ten scholarship program going up against a one scholarship program like us,” Farris said. “They have a whole different level of athletes out there in comparison to us and it showed from the second quarter on.”

The Grenadiers hope to redeem themselves on Tuesday, Nov. 10, when they will travel to confront St. Mary-of-the-Woods for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Lindsey Wilson (1-0): Reagan Turner 26, Sydnie Hall 20, Jordyn Stephens 13, Bree Glover 11, Maleigha Oldham 10, Rose Mary Jackson 10, Hailey Ison 6

IUS (2-1): Emmy Ralph 19, Lauren Lambdin 12, Kirstie Henn 9, Maddie Knight 6, Hannah Corus 5, Alex Maher 4, Collette Nice 4, Isabell Claywell 3, Josie Woods 2, Leah Miller 2.