By Tom Brown
The Benedictine University Women’s basketball team finished the 2011-2012 season with a record of 10-16 and a 4-5 record in Northern Athletics Conference play.
Their conference record was good enough to earn them a spot in the NAC postseason conference tournament as the eight seed, where they fell to the eventual NAC champion Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors.
This season, which was the first under new head coach Kristen Gillespie, featured lots of young players for the Eagles. The roster included 17 underclassmen to go along with just two seniors.
With all the youth and inexperience, five Eagles were able to bring home post season conference awards. Senior Tracey Walsh capped an amazing four year career with the Eagles by being named All-Northern Athletics Conference Second Team. Walsh averaged 12.8 points per game, good for 10th in the conference, and scored over 1,000 points in her Benedictine basketball career. Fellow Senior Breanne Amadio was named to the conference All-Sportsmanship team.
Sophomore guard Michelle Gaede was also honored for her strong season, being named an Honorable Mention All-Conference. Gaede led the Eagles in scoring this season, averaging 13.2 points per game for fifth in the conference.
Two freshmen were also honored for the Eagles, as guards Megan Novak and Kate Hunzinger made the NAC All-Freshman team. Novak averaged 9.6 ppg and was second on the Eagles in minutes per game as the team’s main option at point guard, while Hunzinger averaged 9.8 points and led the Eagles with 6.5 rebounds per game, which is impressive for someone who mostly plays on the perimeter.
Heading into the next season, the Eagles return a strong core. Four of their five starters will come back along with many key role players. That, combined with another year in Coach Gillespie’s system, looks promising for the Eagles for the 2012-2013 season.