Women’s hoop dreams rim out in end

by Krista Schuur

All good things may eventually come to an end, but the end came a game too soon for the women’s basketball team.

After beating Loras 81-72, the storm continued on to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semi-final game against Luther. Before this game Niemuth felt very confident that the women would pull out a win.

“The scrimmages against the guys have been very helpful in keeping us aggressive. We just need to play that way in games and we will come out ahead.” Niemuth said.

“If there is one person on the team we need to contain, it is first team all conference Amanda Smith, she is their leading scorer.”

The Storm did just that; they contained Smith to a minor eight points and was able to avenge their earlier two point loss to Luther. The Storm women turned the tables on Luther and gave them their own taste of two point defeat, 62-60.

The next night, Feb. 23, the women traveled again to their competitor’s gym, this time against Wartburg.

At the end of the first half, Simpson was trailing Wartburg 26-34 and after the first period, the Storm was only shooting 44 percent from the floor.

The women rallied but were unable to answer the Wartburg offense as the Knights went on to claim the conference championship 78-71.

The loss drops the women’s record to 19-9 and 11-7 in conference play. All seven conference losses were suffered by a combined 20 points.

“Besides the loss to prevent us from going to nationals, we had a pretty good year. We had some disappointing losses along the way but we proved our strength as a team, we never gave up,” said junior Amy VanPelt.

The team is now turning their gaze forward and focusing on prepararation for the 2002-2003 basketball season, with hopes of advancing a little further.

“Everyone needs to work hard in the off season and try to improve individually. We have a lot of talent as a team, but everyone needs to do their part in order for us to benefit as a whole,” VanPelt said.