Women’s team totals 20 wins

The women’s basketball team concluded its 2015-16 season with a 20-10 overall record after a GLVC quarterfinal loss. This season marks the program’s third 20-win season during the past four years. Following a first-round victory against the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons, the Bulldogs women’s team lost to Quincy University during the quarterfinals of the GLVC tournament.

At the game’s start, the Bulldogs quickly took the lead 3-1. This, however, was the Bulldogs’ only lead, because Quincy tied the game moments later. The Bulldogs fought to regain the lead and closed in on Quincy 47-52 during the game’s final four minutes after a pair of free throws by senior guard Courtney Strait. Despite Truman State’s efforts, however, the Quincy Hawks took home the win 62-49.

Freshman guard Mackenzie Jerks says even though the team lost, the Bulldogs fought until the end of the game and played with passion.

“During the second half, we got on a pretty good run,” Jerks says. “We got pretty close, and the seniors led us all the way. I’d like to tell them all thanks for the time, work and energy. They loved the team and are really inspiring.”

Jerks says the four seniors — Strait, redshirt center Michalina Tomczak and guards Kasey Gassensmith and Tawny Tucci — who are graduating have positively influenced the younger teammates and taught them what it takes to be a top team in the conference.

During the Bulldogs’ effort to close the gap, Tomczak scored 11 points during the second half. Tomczak, who made 5 out of 9 field goals during 25 minutes, says this season was one of the best defensive seasons the Bulldogs have ever had. She says if the Bulldogs had done a better job defensively during the game against Quincy, the game might have turned out differently. Overall, Tomczak says the team had an impressive season.

“We got 20 wins this season, and we continued to improve the program,” Tomczak says. “We made it to the tournament as the fifth seed. Our program looks good, and I know it will only get better next season.”

Head Coach Amy Eagan says sloppy defense and turnovers played a role in the loss to Quincy. Eagan says the difference in the game was the amount of free-throws taken between the two teams. The Bulldogs went 8 for 11 during the game compared to Quincy’s 15 of 23. Regardless of Truman’s last game, however, Eagan says she’s very proud of the team’s season.

Eagan led the Bulldogs to set the University’s record in conference wins this year, and she says she is proud of the dedication the team showed during this season. She says each player did the work on and off the court to put themselves in a position to be successful. She says the team had a great run this season, and she says it was it one of the best defensive teams to come from Truman.

“All our players gave maximum effort,” Eagan says. “I would challenge all our returners to do even better next year, and for the seniors, I would like to say thank you for everything you’ve given us in these past few years. They definitely left this place with a legacy … I will miss them dearly and love each one of them.”

During her third season coaching at Truman, Eagan brought the team to a 20-10 record, for a combined three-year record of 58-30. Eagan says she plans to continue improving Truman’s basketball program, but she says it will be hard to top this season’s team, which earned the most regular season conference wins at Truman, allowed the fewest points per game of any Truman basketball team ever, and had the program’s best regular season GLVC record.