Tim Folliard
Sports Writer

Sophomore Claire Gibler (above) went 4-5 from three against Augustana. Photo credit: Steve Woltmann

ROCK ISLAND, IL – Women’s basketball started off the season at the Augustana College Hyatt Place Tournament. They ended up placing second in the four-team tournament after beating Augustana on Friday and losing to Hope College on Saturday. Hope College is currently ranked #6 in the nation.

Augustana College Game
The women’s basketball team started off the season with a 74-69 win against Augustana. It was an exciting game that featured thirteen lead changes and seven ties.

Benedictine trailed by seven after the first quarter, but with a twelve-point run the scoring in the second quarter came alive. Seven of those points were scored by Allison Michalski after she hit two jump shots and converted a three-point play.

Benedictine led the entire third quarter helped by three pointers by Claire Gibler and Brittney Pitzer. Points were also scored in the paint by Michalski, Ashley Brown and Alex Fanning. The defense was able to contain the Augustana offense to only 14 points in the quarter.

The fourth quarter was a neck and neck battle. The game was tied at 65 points with under four minutes remaining. After two free throws, Augustana was up by one with 57 seconds to go.
The Eagles were able to take the lead after a pair of Fanning free throws with 37 seconds remaining put them on top 70-69. The final four points were scored off free throws and Benedictine came out with the win.

Michalski led with 20 points, Gibler had 15 points and Fanning had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.

“It was a great feeling to be able to open the season with a win because that is what will set the tone for the rest of the season,” Pitzer said.

Hope College Game
In the championship game, the Eagles lost to Hope College 48-92.

Benedictine shot 14-43 from the field went 4-12 from behind the three-point line. Sixteen players recorded playing time for the Eagles. Michalski led all scorers with 14 points and Pitzer added 10 points.

Hope had 55 points off the bench and outscored Benedictine in the paint 38 to 14. As a team Hope sank 12 three pointers and grabbed 38 rebounds.

It was a disappointing game for the Eagles who learned a lot in the loss.

“Hope is a great team and unfortunately we did not show up to play in the first half. We didn’t have any energy going on the court and things did not go our way” Pitzer said. “We learned that we need to start off every single game strong and play as a team.”

Last year the Eagles reached the 21-win mark and have high expectations. They start conference play on November 20th and their first home game is November 30th against Lakeland University.