GROVE CITY, Pa. —The Grove City College women’s basketball team is no longer winless.
After starting the season with five losses, the Wolverines put together one of their better efforts of the season Wednesday night as they picked up their first win with a 68-58 decision over the Geneva College Tornadoes at College Arena.
“It [the win] was really nice and these girls really deserved it,” said a happy GCC coach Sarah Harris. “We took high-percentage shots tonight and not taking those is one of the big reasons why we have been struggling.”
As for Geneva, coach Amy Russin felt it was a matter of digging a hole too deep to climb out of.
“We tried to chip away at it a little bit when we got behind, but you can’t match baskets when you get down by 10 or 12 points,” she said. “We only made 3 of 21 shots from behind the 3-point line and you aren’t going to win many games when you only shoot 25 percent. As good as we can play defensively, you still have to put the ball in the basket.”
After watching Geneva (3-2) take an 8-4 lead four minutes into the game, Grove City went on a 9-0 run to go up 11-8 three minutes later.
Geneva kept chipping away until their cut their deficit to one point at 13-12 GCC, but the Wolverines went to work on both end of the floor, scoring seven unanswered points on the front end of a 24-7 run to close out the first half to lead 37-19 at halftime.
“I was really happy with the first half in that we came out ready to play offensively,” said Harris. “We did a great job of drawing the defense out and finding the open girl and we were finally able to hit some shots.”
One of the keys to the GCC success in the first half was their ability to protect the basketball. The Wolverines only turned the ball over five times, while Geneva was guilty of 14 miscues.
“Our defense spoils me,” said Harris. “On paper, we should get destroyed in some games, but these kids don’t care if they only have a 5-6 post player, they just play as hard as they can on the defensive end of the floor. I really don’t have to do anything to get them to work hard defensively. They just enjoy doing it.”
Laura Miller, who finished with a career-high 18 for the game, led the GCC surge with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
“We finally came together as a team and it really feels good to get a home win,” said Miller. “We knew we had the potential to play this way and it was good to see it all come together.”
As for her individual success, Miller felt it was a matter of team play.
“We have been working a lot of getting shots off the drive,” explained Miller. “If it wasn’t there on the drive, we kicked it out and a lot of my shots were outside shots thanks to my teammates.”
Leading by 18 entering the second half, the Wolverines led by as many as 20 until Geneva kept chipping away until the Wolverines (1-5) prevailed by the final of 68-58.
Balanced scoring was also a key in the win as four of the seven players on the roster hit for doubles.
Joining Miller in doubles for the Wolverines were Christine Slater (14), Raeann Szelong with a dozen and Megan Gebrosky with 11, while the Golden Tornadoes were led by Michawn Rich with 15 and Rachel Barry with 11.