In a season that featured a win against NCAA Tournament participant, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and a loss to the 5-25 Evansville Aces, the Bradley women’s basketball team completed its roller coaster season.
After a thrilling comeback win against Tennessee Tech last Wednesday in the Women’s Collge Basketball Invitational, the season ended with an 85-59 loss to the University of Minnesota Sunday.
“I thought our effort was very good,” coach Paula Buscher said. “We played extremely hard. We just had one of those days where the ball didn’t go into the hoop enough.”
The Braves only had two field goals in the final 12 minutes against the Golden Gophers, while Minnesota used 64.3 percent shooting from the field to take a 39-20 halftime lead. Junior Katie Yohn led the team with 13 points.
Last Wednesday, Bradley trailed by as many 20 points against Tennessee Tech before taking its first lead with just more than three minutes remaining in the game, using a 50-32 score in the second half to cap off a 74-71 win. Senior Latasha Hollingshed led the team with 21 points in 27 minutes off of the bench while Yohn and junior Brooke Bisping followed with 19 and 11 points in reserve roles.
“I thought that was a great win because that just showed how important it is for the game of team basketball,” Buscher said. “We had some of our starters and people who played a lot of minutes were struggling, just flat out struggling. We came off the bench and I found a combination in the second half that started playing very well together and just ran with that.”
The Braves will lose five seniors after going 18-16 this year and 7-11 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Senior Leah Kassing led the team with 13 points and just less than eight rebounds a game.
“It’s the five seniors and what they have given to not only to the women’s basketball program but to Bradley in general,” Buscher said. “They are great student athletes and great people on and off the floor.”
Freshman Shronda Butts was voted to the MVC’s All-Freshman team and Kassing was named a Second-Team All-Conference selection.
“I think it was a successful season and I’m proud of the way they represented themselves and what they did for our program and what they did for Bradley,” Buscher said. “It’s a sad thing to see the seniors go, but this is what happens every year and you hate to see them go but you love to see them move on.”