Missouri Western women’s basketball notched their ninth-straight win after defeating Lincoln 65-54 on their home floor Thursday night.
The Griffons controlled the game from start to finish as they didn’t allow the Blue Tigers to hold a lead at any point, but Lincoln would still continue to fight back. The Blue Tigers would claw their way back as they were down 19 points midway through the third quarter, but cut the deficit to 10 points at 6:03 in the fourth quarter due to a 10-2 run to start the fourth.
The Griffons would still maintain a cushion despite the run by the Blue Tigers. Western point guard Johnnie Gonzalez, who had 11 points in the evening, said the offense got a little sloppy at times on offense in the game.
“We weren’t really taking care of the ball. We were trying to shoot the ball too quick and I think we needed to just, everyone slow down, calm down and execute our plays,” Gonzalez said.
Head coach Candi Whitaker didn’t undervalue the victory her team notched on Thursday. She said the win was “not very pretty,” and also said there were things that the team needs to be better at after the team was minus-8 in the offensive rebound category as well as having 20 turnovers.
“There were a lot of one-hand rebounds that were bouncing around they came up with or loose balls they came up with that should’ve been ours and then turning the ball. Again, every wins a good win and we’ll take it,” Whitaker said.
Point guard Alysaa Bonilla played almost double the minutes of the next closest bench player to help facilitate the offense and handle the pressure of the Blue Tigers in the full court. The sophomore from El Paso, Texas had just four points but led the team in assists with six and impressed her head coach with her performance.
“I thought Alyssa was very good. I thought she was really steady and solid, and did a good job of getting open. I thought she looked more like herself and played with great speed,” Whitaker said.
Western has garnered the attention of voters of the WBCA Division II polls as they received 15 votes in this weeks’ newest rankings, but not enough to make the top 25. As they continue to make their case by stacking wins, they’ll have an opportunity to really turn heads when they take on the MIAA’s top seed on Saturday as Central Missouri travels to Looney Arena.
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