Published on February 18th, 2013 | by Brian Neal0
Flyers Women’s Basketball in Top 25 Ranking
Above photo by Steve Woltmann: As of Feb.14, freshman Mariyah Henley has helped Lewis to second place in the GLVC East.
Brian Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Lewis University’s women’s basketball team is having their best season in six years at 17-5 overall and 10-4 in conference-play, and is even ranked No. 24 in NCAA D-II. However, the past couple of weeks have been up and down for the team.Their biggest victory of late, and perhaps the entire season, was a double-overtime win over No. 19 Indianapolis Jan. 31. The Flyers, led by sophomore Jess Reinhart’s double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds, were able to pull this one out 78-75. Down a point with 1:09 remaining in the game.
Senior Labrenthia Murdock also had a big game with 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Junior Alexis Grayer contributed 19 points and four rebounds, as well, off the bench.
The Flyers won 67-56 over Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 2. Reinhart, Murdock and senior Sam Rinehart all scored in double figures with 15, 12 and 10 points apiece, respectively. Reinhart had another double-double with 11 rebounds. Sophomore Nikki Nellen had nine points with nine assists on the evening.
That was the “up” part of the past few weeks, the “down” part came next: Two losses in a row to Southern Indiana and Kentucky Wesleyan. In the first of the two games, Lewis fell 68-55 against USI. The game was tied at the half 34-34, but in the second, the Flyers went cold going 9-for-35 from the field.
“We really struggled offensively in the second half,” Carlsen said. “We were not able match their toughness at times.”
The latter matchup against KWC saw the Flyers lose 74-61. In this one, the Flyers were at least consistent in both halves getting outscored 37-30 in the first and 37-31 in the second.
The Flyers had less turnovers and more assists than the Panthers, and even had the same amount of rebounds in the game. However, they weren’t executing the offense the way they normally do, shooting only 40 percent for the game.
LU did bounce back on Valentine’s Day against Bellarmine, though, with a 77-65 victory. Reinhart and Murdock again lead the team with 22 and 18 points, respectively. Murdock also had eight rebounds and five steals on the night.
After trailing 40-30 at the half, the Flyers bounced back with a huge second half, outplaying Bellarmine to the advantage of 47-25.
“In the second half we were able to pick up our intensity on defense,” Carlsen said. “When we are able to play strong defense and rebound, it makes it easier on the offensive end for us.”
The Flyers also played McKendree Saturday, Feb. 16.
Lewis’ final three regular season games are Feb. 21 against Indianapolis, Feb. 23 at Saint Joseph’s and Feb. 28 versus UW-Parkside.