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The Sanpete Messenger

Lady Badgers drop two games, now ranked third in the SWAC

Lady Badgers drop two games, now ranked third in the SWAC

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-23-2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY— Consistency, which has often evaded the Lady Badgers all season, once again was not on their side in two losses last week.

            The extremely young Snow women’s basketball team continued to exhibit growing pains in both games, falling to Southern Idaho, 62-49, and No. 4 Salt Lake, 65-48. Snow is now 11-14 on the season and 6-8 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC). Additionally, Snow officially ends the regular season with a 0-4 record against the nationally-ranked Lady Bruins and a 1-3 record against the Golden Eagles.

            “Salt Lake has a lot of toughness, which we’ve lacked at times,” head coach Mike Russell said. “They also know how to win, they have a winner’s mentality, and that’s something we’re working on. We’ve had Salt Lake up against the ropes, but their “refuse to lose” mentality has really played a factor.”

            First playing Southern Idaho last Thursday, the Lady Badgers held a slim, two-point lead at the end of the first quarter. A 21-8 second quarter by Southern Idaho was quick to erase all memory of that by halftime. The Lady Eagles led by as many as 21 points in the second half before the Lady Badgers could start chipping away at the lead.

            Scoring was lethargic for Snow, with both freshmen starters Harley Hansen and Madison Mooring held to a combined 0-12 shooting clip. Mooring also committed a ghastly nine turnovers to only one assist. The Lady Badgers shot a mere 30 percent on the day, with freshman Kate Anderson coming off the bench to lead Snow with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

            Salt Lake was guaranteed to be an even tougher test, and the Lady Bruins proved it right. Salt Lake, coming off their first loss in 16 games, led the Lady Badgers from tip-off to buzzer. Snow continued to be forced into ugly basketball, committing 19 turnovers out of their starters alone.

            Mooring led the offense with 10 points. Snow shot 39 percent from the field.

            With two games left in the regular season, Snow is on track for the No. 3 seed in the upcoming SWAC tournament. Only the tournament winner will advance to the national tournament. While Salt Lake and Southern Idaho have carved out their spots as contenders in the conference, Snow’s destiny remains uncertain. They are expected to win out their schedule with upcoming games against Utah State-Eastern today at 5:30 p.m. and on the road against Colorado Northwestern this Saturday.

            “Our focus is to close out the season on a high note, and to get that #3 seed heading into the tournament,” Russell said.

Russell remains confident about the Lady Badgers chances in the tournament. “We absolutely believe we can win,” Russell said, “but just like we tell our players every day, we have to quit talking about it and actually be about it. We have the players to win despite being young, so I definitely would not count us out.”