The community of the Wheaton women’s basketball team is, as many of its players would agree, a significant aspect that makes it such a force to be reckoned with. The team contains three DSGs which freshman center Ellie Flitsch says makes the team “not just all about basketball, but also about pursuing our faith and creating lasting friendships.” It’s this strong bond between the members of the team that contributes to their many victories in the last few weeks — most recently their crushing victory against Illinois State University last Wednesday.
The Thunder came out ready to win on Saturday as they traveled to North Central College. The Cardinals got struck down hard in the first quarter by the Thunder. “They pressed so they didn’t have a lot of defense on the back court,” Flitsch said. “Once we figured out how to break their press they didn’t really have much of an answer.” Completely obliterating the Cardinals, the first quarter ended with a score of 33-5. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, this would prove to be nearly impossible to come back from. In the second quarter, the Thunder kept the pressure on, leaving the score 57-19 at the end of the first half. The Cardinals began to make a bit of a comeback in the second half, catching up 30-28 by the end of the third quarter, but the Thunder kept them thoroughly in the dust. It was a good night for the Thunder, led by Kelly Lawson scoring a career high of 27 points plus four assists, as well as Katie McDaniels adding 20 points and Maggie Dansdill and Ellie Zeller who each contributed eight points and three assists. The score ended in a smashing 112-71 victory for the Thunder.
The Thunder travelled on again Wednesday to Carthage College to play the Lady Reds. Unfortunately, although the Wheaton Women’s Basketball team started out with a small lead, it went downhill from there. The score was stunted 10-15 in favour of Carthage by the end of the first quarter, and the Thunder remained unable to get ahead, even by the end of the first half, leaving the score 21-28. The second half remained an uphill battle and the team continued to struggle. The third quarter ended 32-46, and the Thunder would sadly remain behind for the rest of the game. With a final score of 44-70, Wheaton was cold from beyond the arc and only shot 12.5 percent from three-point range while Carthage made an incredible 63.4 percent of their three-point shots. A disappointing loss for the Thunder, especially considering they beat Carthage 65-46 less than two weeks ago. But the Wheaton women’s basketball team will be back for redemption this Saturday as they face off against Elmhurst College at King Arena.