by John Pierri
The Benedictine Women’s Basketball team lost their first contest of the season 49-47 against The North Park University Vikings on Tuesday night.
Senior guard Tracey Walsh helped the Eagles jump out to a 5-0 lead, hitting an early jump shot. Sophomore guard Michelle Gaede, who lead all players with 13 points, continued the Eagle scoring by hitting a three-pointer. At half time, BenU led 22-20.
The Vikings took charge after the first half by quickly jumping out to a 12 point lead. Down 40-28, Walsh, Gaede and the rest of the Eagles chipped away at the Viking
lead. With three minutes left, BenU found themselves within three points.
North Park was able to close out the game, however, with a free throw and another layup putting the game out of reach.
“Losing a close game is always tough, but the important thing is how we bounce back after a tough loss,” Walsh explained.
“Losing by two is really hard knowing that any possession could of been the changing point for a win,” added Gaede. “We now have to make sure that every possession is as important as the one before.”
“I would say the main thing that worked for us was that we never gave up, especially being down 12 points with 10 minutes left to play,” said Walsh. “We very easily could have gave up, but chose not to.”
Coach Kristen Gillespie, in her first game as head coach, talked to her team about what went wrong and what adjustments needed to be made, as the Vikings outrebounded the Eagles by 20 and capitalized on numerous BenU turnovers.
“She told us the importance of everyone finding an opponent and boxing them out hard,” explained junior guard Colleen Forkin. “Rebounds are what made the difference in that game. She also told us how proud she was that we did not give up after digging ourselves into a hole.”