After racing out of the gates to start the season, the Bradley women’s basketball team recently fell back to Earth. The Braves dropped three of their last four games, evening their record at 3-3.
The women’s squad fell to the University of Illinois 74-62 Nov. 18 before they traveled to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to compete in the SEMO Classic Nov. 24 and 25.
According to junior forward Vanessa Markert, the early road trip helped the team strengthen their chemistry.
“We grow the most on the road,” Markert said. “We spend a lot of time off the court with one another, which translates well to our chemistry on the floor.”
Bradley’s first matchup of the classic pitted the Braves against Nicholls State University. Bradley took advantage of early Colonels’ turnovers and sophomore forward Chelsea Brackmann put up eight points in the first five minutes to key-in a12-2 run.
Junior transfer guard Shunseere Kent posted her first double-double in a Bradley uniform tallying 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to help Bradley secure the 75-65 victory.
The second day of the classic saw the tables turned on the Braves as they found themselves down early against Southeast Missouri University. Careless turnovers and cold shooting from the Braves helped the Redhawks build a 27-10 lead.
Head coach Andrea Gorski said Southeast Missouri’s physical style of play disrupted their offense.
“We didn’t react really well to their physicality, and it affected us offensively,” Gorski said. “It took us until the second half to figure out how to play against that.”
A couple of late game runs sparked by Markert, who finished with 17 points, helped the Braves grab their first lead of the game, 49-47, with just under three minutes to play. Despite the Braves efforts, the Redhawks ended up pulling away late and edged out Bradley 57-53.
The Braves’ latest contest came Nov. 29 as the women traveled to DeKalb to take on Northern Illinois University. Another slow offensive start caused the Braves to try and play catchup yet again. Every comeback attempt the Braves tried to mount was quickly extinguished by the Huskies, who went on the win 76-52.
Gorski said her team will be working on ridding themselves of their current offensive slump.
“We didn’t hit our early looks. We had good shots and just couldn’t finish early on, which allowed them to get out in transition,” Gorski said. “Last few games we have been struggling to score, and we need to get that figured out going forward.”
The women’s squad returns to Renaissance Coliseum at 2 p.m. tomorrow as they host the University of Illinois – Chicago.