The women’s basketball team opened its regular season with a pair of neutral-site games in Quincy, Illinois, last weekend. Truman State split the series, falling to the Grand Valley State University Lakers 77-61 Saturday before picking up its first victory against Northern Michigan University Sunday afternoon, 71-54. Truman’s opponents are members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Truman trailed Grand Valley State throughout the game. The Lakers led 40-30 at the half, and a 15-2 run early during the fourth quarter put the game well out of reach for the Bulldogs. Nine different Bulldogs played double-digit minutes.
Senior guard Courtney Strait led all scorers against Grand Valley State, posting 18 points on a six-for-nine shooting effort along with five rebounds. Senior guard Kasey Gassensmith was the only other Bulldog in double figures, scoring 10 points. Sophomore guard Rachel Steinhoff recorded a team-high five assists for the ‘Dogs.
Grand Valley State had two 16-point scorers — senior guard Brionna Barnett and junior forward Kayla Dawson. Barnett also led the Lakers in rebounds and assists with five each.
Assistant Coach Adam Tandez says though the Bulldogs were not able to get the result they would have liked against Grand Valley State, he still noticed some things the team can improve upon.
“Looking at that Grand Valley game, we shot 80 percent from the free throw line, we made as many free throws as they attempted,” Tandez says. “That’s huge for us. Even though it was a loss, we did some decent things — 19 points from the bench, we shot 40 percent from the field, we ran into a Grand Valley State team that really executed a good game plan.”
The following afternoon, Truman took control against the Northern Michigan Wildcats, with a 9-0 run during the second quarter. The first quarter had five ties and four lead changes, but the ‘Dogs entered the halftime break with a 39-28 lead and they maintained the lead for the remainder of the game.
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