It has been a wild last three weeks for the Lady Bears. It all began with their trip to Oklahoma to face the Cowgirls but ended in a heartbreaker, 44-40.
The next stop was California to play USC, where fifth-year senior forward Abby Hipp left the game early due to a knee injury. Without Hipp, the Lady Bears continued on to win 67-41.
In a Thanksgiving day tweet from head coach Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton, she confirmed Hipp had torn her ACL during the USC game.
Mox’s tweet also said Hipp is “the definition of what it means to be a Lady Bear.”
“Tearing my ACL as a fifth year has been a hard pill to swallow, but I still have SO MUCH MORE to give this game,” Hipp said in a tweet of her own.
Hipp was unable to attend the two games after her injury, and Mox said that it was tough to be without her.
Less than a week later, the Lady Bears attended the San Juan Shootout where they beat No. 24 Virginia Tech 76-68 but lost to LSU 66-58.
Tonight the Lady Bears were finally back on their homecourt and they were ready to go.
The first points of the night didn’t come until nearly a minute and a half in and were scored by senior guard Brice Calip.
Once Calip got the ball rolling, it just wouldn’t stop. The Lady Bears went on a 13-0 run within four minutes.
Following a free throw made by William Jewell to end its scoreless run, there was a two minute dry spell for both teams until junior forward Ifunanya Nwachukwu was able to bank a jump shot for the Lady Bears.
After the first quarter, the Lady Bears had three times as many points as William Jewell, 21-7.
During the second quarter, the Lady Bears started off on another scoring drive, going 9-0 before another William Jewell free throw.
Senior guard Mariah White took the second quarter by storm. She found opportunities for steals and boards as well as assisting sophomore guard Paige Rocca on a 3-point shot.
The Lady Bears defense had William Jewell on lockdown. The Cardinals walked away with only a five-point quarter.
At the half, the Lady Bears had a dominant lead of 41-12.
After halftime, The Cardinals were able to pick up some much needed points, primarily in the form for 3-pointers and free throws.
The Lady Bears had a 19-point quarter, increasing the Lady Bear lead to 60-24.
Calip started the fourth quarter off with a 3-pointer assisted by senior guard Sydney Wilson. Wilson then picked up a 3-pointer of her own assisted by senior guard Mya Bhinhar.
Within six minutes, the Lady Bears found themselves on a 15-0 run, which put them up 75-24 until the Cardinals were able to find an opportunity for two.
The Lady Bear defense picked back up during the final quarter, holding the Cardinals to a single layup and winning 81-26.
“This game we just tried to focus on ourselves,” Wilson said. “Bounce back after that LSU game and to get everyone in the rotations and to feel good.”
The Lady Bears picked up 59 rebounds tonight but were only shooting at 40.3%.
Mox said “We did what we were supposed to do, obviously I think we still could shoot it a lot better.”
Monday the Lady Bears will travel to South Dakota State to seek revenge from last year's homecourt loss.
Follow Makayla Strickland on Twitter, m_strickland28.
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