Women’s basketball loses to IUPUI, 76-70

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Women’s basketball loses to IUPUI, 76-70

Golden Grizzlies come up short against IUPUI in women’s basketball Thursday.

Golden Grizzlies come up short against IUPUI in women’s basketball Thursday.

Eliyah Russell

Golden Grizzlies come up short against IUPUI in women’s basketball Thursday.

Eliyah Russell

Eliyah Russell

Golden Grizzlies come up short against IUPUI in women’s basketball Thursday.

Devin Boatwright, Staff Reporter

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On a mildly warm Thursday with the snow finally starting to melt away, the Golden Grizzlies faced off against the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Jaguars in a close game, walking away with a 76-70 loss.

The Golden Grizzlies started off strong with good ball movement and defense. However,  IUPUI battled and kept a very small lead up to the end of the first half. The Golden Grizzlies, although behind for the first two quarters, fought tooth and nail to end the half down 40-36. Senior guard Taylor Jones led in all categories of the stat sheet with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and 2 steals. Freshman Kayla Luchenbach wasn’t too far behind either with eight points, two steals and two assists, shooting 100 percent from the field.

In the third quarter, the Golden Grizzlies had a spark and tied the game 52-52 with a minute and 30 seconds left. Kahlaijah Dean, last week’s Nike freshman of the week, hit the final basket of the quarter, a deep 3-pointer to give the Golden Grizzlies their first lead since the first two minutes of the game, going up 55-54.

The Golden Grizzlies were outscored in the first and fourth quarters as well as being out rebounded 36-25. Jones had a career high 28 points. She was very impressed with the way her team fought especially coming out in the second half. However, she feels their lack of rebounds and excessive fouling were to credit for the loss.

“I think we battled really hard today,” Jones said. “I was impressed with the way we came out in the second half, the first half we really didn’t defend well myself included. The second half we came out with a lot more energy and buckled down on our defense and  that was the difference for us. We missed a couple of rebounds and fouled a bit too much in the second half and that is an issue we’ll work on.”

Dean hit a few pivotal shots in the third and fourth quarters to keep the game within reach. She feels making sure to get more stops on the defensive end going forward will result in more wins.

“As a team we played really well,” Dean said. “Our bigs did a wonderful job on defense. We know what we have to do and we just keep growing and growing. We know that in the end we’ll always come out the better team. We need to make sure we get more stops on defense and not allowing weak drives through the lane, defense is a big key for us right now and going forward.”

The next women’s basketball game will be Breast Cancer Awareness Day in the O’Rena against the University of Chicago Illinois Flames on Saturday, Feb 16 at 3 p.m..