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Women’s basketball off to successful start in new season

Junior Jaclene Bonnema looks for an open teammate during a game last season. (Photo by Jac Rhine)

Junior Jaclene Bonnema looks for an open teammate during a game last season. (Photo by Jac Rhine)

The women’s basketball team has jumped out to a 4-1 start early on in the season. Posting wins against Holy Cross Nov. 4, Aquinas College Nov. 8, Indiana tech Nov. 11 and Purdue University Calumet Nov. 15, the team only suffered a loss to fourth ranked Davenport University.

In HU’s most recent win against Purdue University Calumet, the Peregrines were able to hang with the Foresters for the first ten minutes of the half. HU pulled away, walking into the locker room at a 45-33 advantage after posting perfect percentages from the charity stripe as well as shooting 56 percent from the field.

Going into the second half, Purdue Calumet attempted to reduce their deficit with two quick baskets out of the gate. Pulling within seven, the Foresters would silence the comeback attempt with offensive domination by Miranda Palmer and Amelia Recker.

Recker, the junior scoring sensation, paced the Foresters with 28 points. Following closely behind her were teammates Palmer and Kelsey Hubble with 26 and 21 points respectively.

Recording the 88-75 win was encouraging for the Foresters as they go into the Huntington University tournament Nov. 21 and 22 as the defending champions.

Crossroads League conference play begins Nov. 25 as Marian University comes to Platt Arena.

One of the ways to prepare for the intensified conference play is to limit opponents’ scoring opportunities. Head coach Lori Culler said that the team is looking to lead the conference in fewest points allowed per game. Currently, the Foresters are ranked second right now only allowing an average of 52.00 points per game scored on the team. They are second only to CL rival Saint Francis University who allows an average of 51.17 points per game.

Looking forward to the upcoming season, junior Amelia Recker said that the team’s chemistry is an integral part of helping the team adjust to one another.

“Having upper classmen who are able to [include] freshmen and transfers that are new helps,” Recker said. “Our freshmen this year are pretty awesome. They fit right in. They’re not shy. They’re not sticking in the corner. They get involved in everything. I think it’s just a good mix of upper classmen and freshmen coming in. The chemistry’s there.”

With no attention focused on drama, the team has been able to devote their full attention to their game.

“As a whole I think we are playing together well,” junior Kelsey Hubble said. “At first it was like a completely different team. Those first couple of games are always hard because it’s a different team, and you don’t know what each person is capable of, but as the season goes on you learn.”

Culler is optimistic about the chemistry and the capability to compete her team has shown early on in the season.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing what this group can accomplish,” Culler said. “We’re not a lot different than last year in terms of personnel, but every team has a different personality, and early in the season we’re trying to figure out what ours is. This team already has shown they are extremely competitive, and they’re not going to back down to anybody.”

Making a return trip to nationals this year is part of the reason for the team’s competitive spirit. Hubble said that after getting to the national stage last year, the team is looking to continue to play strong and as a team in order to achieve this goal.

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