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  • Cole Deyo

Lady Comets Suffer Tough Loss in Conference Tournament - Recap

Photo by Cole Deyo

The University of Olivet’s Women basketball team came up short against a prolific Trine University 70-45. This opening round game of the MIAA conference tournament took place at the MTI arena in Angola, IN. The 19-7 Thunder were looking to make a run to the conference championship for their third year in a row for redemption, and the 9-17 Comets, were looking to make a Cinderella run carrying the momentum of some tough conference wins in the regular season.  


The game started off with a quick back and forth with the two teams, Trine opening the game up with a layup and a 2-0 lead. There was an exchange of jump shots, turnovers, and backdoor cuts, but Trine maintained its advantage on the glass, particularly with offensive rebounds. This would become a major theme throughout the game as Trine was able to put up 60 shots to the Comets 46. Olivet remained resilient, which was a consistent theme throughout the season and didn’t let Trine bully them around. After a big three from Freshman Savannah Brewer with 4:53 left, the Comets took a 9-6 lead early. Trine was able to answer back with a three of their own, despite Olivet’s tough defense. Trine maintained control with a 16-11 lead coming out of the first. 

The second quarter started with a quick exchange of points which led it to 12-18, and then offense went stale for a few minutes for both teams. Then Olivet’s Freshman Kaylee Bush came up with a steal, and a three-pointer on the other end to crack the scoring wide open for the comets, who closed in on that lead and jumped to a 19-18 lead. The defense tightened up on both ends, and the game became grittier, each basket having to be earned. This led to another scoring drought till about a minute left in the half with the game tied 21-21. Trine took a much-needed momentum swing heading into half hitting a crucial basket in the final seconds.  

Despite the game being in enemy territory, a few Olivet students made the faithful trip down I-69 south to watch their Comets compete in the conference tournament. An Olivet senior Nate Lehman was willing to offer some analysis in what the Comets needed in order to pull off the upset, “We need no more empty possessions” he said, “They’re playing great defense and creating opportunities they must take care of the ball and be consistent shooting, and they can come away with this game.”  

Whereas the first half ended with strong defense, the second half picked up in a whole different direction. Both teams came out with creative offenses that were countering the frustrating defense that was working so effectively previously. Both teams were dealing heavy blows till about 3 minutes left in the quarter where some costly turnovers, and fouls allowed Trine to extend its lead to 13 heading into the final quarter. Although the Comets played tough, their over-eagerness started to cost them more and more, and Trine capitalized with a barrage of three pointers. The fourth quarter ended with a heartbreaking 70-45 final score. Both teams had left it all out on the court. 

With this concluding the season, it is important to remark on some of the notable performances from this season. This season is something to be celebrated as the Women’s team qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2016. They were able to do this through sweeping Adrian, Kalamazoo, and St. Mary’s Catholic in conference play. Some notable performances from this season consist of Senior Lily Connelly leading the team in points and assists with 8.6 points per game, and 3.5 assists per game. Freshman Christina Malackanich put up 4.8 rebounds per game to be the rebound leader. Kaylee Bush made 22 three-pointers to head the team from beyond the arc. 

 

All statistics are provided by the Sports Information Director Geoff Henson via The University of Olivet’s athletic website. 

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