Wichita State Shockers

Northern Iowa hands Wichita State women second straight MVC loss

The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State’s women’s basketball team has one major weakness and a bunch of ways to cancel it out.

The Shockers rarely shoot well from the perimeter – and sometimes they barely even shoot from the perimeter. But they can rebound, they’re active defensively and have a star – Rangie Bessard – who does a little bit of everything.

All of those nullifying components were present on Sunday afternoon. The Shockers had many advantages, but no answer for Northern Iowa’s nine three-pointers in UNI’s 63-61 win at Koch Arena.

WSU (5-8, 0-2 MVC) made one three-pointer. The Shockers, who made 25 of 49 shots, played to their strengths and got standout performances from Bessard and TaQuandra Mike, but too often they were counting by two.

Keke Thompson missed a short attempt in the final seconds that could have tied the game.

“If we’re going to give up nine threes a game, exactly – that’s tough,” WSU coach Jody Adams-Birch said. “You can’t give up nine threes and expect, playing against a three-point shooting team, to win a game like that.”

When Thompson, WSU’s point guard, has the ball near the three-point line, a defender is rarely present. The same is often true for Aundra Stovall and Diamond Lockhart, completing a trio that has made 13 of 42 three-pointers.

WSU has made 251 of 495 two-pointers this season, better than 50 percent, and its poor perimeter shooting usually isn’t a deterrent. Even with defenders sinking into the lane to deny the ball, Bessard touches it on most possessions.

On Sunday, Bessard made 4 of 12 shots but kept UNI’s post players in constant foul trouble. She made 7 of 10 free throws and finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.

“They gave a lot of respect to Rangie,” Adams-Birch said. “She had two or three (defenders) on her. You can’t ask for anything else from her, and she figured out how to get to the free-throw line.

“Where we need help is in our guard corps.”

Mike, a guard who can play both forward spots, nearly made up for the lack of backcourt production. She scored 20 points and had seven steals, keeping WSU close in the fourth quarter when it appeared UNI (9-4, 2-0) could pull away.

Mike had eight of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and contributed to several defensive stops. It was similar to her performance in the first quarter, when she had eight points and bothered UNI’s Mikaela Morgan into four turnovers.

“When I get steals or just play good defense, that fires my offense up,” Mike said. “That’s what actually starts my offense. Like Coach was telling me – don’t try to force your offense. Play defense, defense, and the offense will come.”

The Shockers led 58-57 with under three minutes to go, but a turnover by Mike led to a UNI three-point play that put the Panthers ahead for good. The Shockers spent the most of the final two minutes in need of a jump shot, but their only basket in the final 3:37 was Thompson’s three-pointer in the final minute.

“Our posts are doing their job right now,” Adams-Birch said. “All of them. I’m really proud of them. It’s just our guards have to come around and get tougher. If they get more confident on what they do on the defensive side, that would ignite their offense and help these post players out.

“I think we could be a heck of a team.”

NORTHERN IOWA (9-4): Schonhardt 2-4 2-4 7, Maahs 1-2 0-0 2, Weekly 4-8 5-6 14, Davison 3-6 0-0 9, Morgan 2-6 2-2 8, Herzberg 8-13 1-1 19, Simon-Ressler 0-2 0-0 0, Kirkpatrick 0-2 0-0 0, Hillyard 0-0 0-0 0, Hagen 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 21-45 12-15 63.

WICHITA STATE (5-8): Bessard 4-12 7-10 15, Tompkins 3-4 0-0 6, Thompson 4-11 1-1 9, Stovall 0-2 0-0 0, Mike 9-12 2-2 20, Lockhart 1-1 0-0 2, Preston 0-2 0-0 0, Lee 1-1 0-0 3, Lozada-Cabbage 3-4 0-0 6, Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-49 10-13 61.

N. Iowa

9

18

22

14

63

Wichita St.

19

14

16

12

61

Three-point shooting—UNI 9-18 (Davison 3-4, Herzberg 2-3, Morgan 2-4, Schonhardt 1-3, Weekly 1-3, Kirkpatrick 0-1), WSU 1-5 (Lee 1-1, Bessard 0-1, Stovall 0-1, Mike 0-1, Preston 0-1). Rebounds—UNI 19 (Davison 5), WSU 30 (Bessard 14). Steals—UNI 10 (Herzberg 4), WSU 10 (Mike 7). Assists—UNI 13 (Weekly 5), WSU 14 (Bessard, Thompson, Stovall 3). Total fouls—UNI 17, WSU 19. Technicals—None.

  Comments