Seniors shine in final home game
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Junior Diamond Lockhart fought to get a jump ball to give senior Hannah Mortimer one more opportunity to score during the team’s final home game.
With three seconds left, Mortimer waved off her teammate’s idea of getting a final score and instead hugged Lockhart as the buzzer sounded.
Having played a season-high of three minutes, getting to step on Devlin Court one more time was plenty.
“I feel like we were beating them by a large amount, so I felt like a last second shot wouldn’t of been appropriate,” Mortimer said. “I got to get a bucket on Friday in the game, so I’m happy with that.”
There was a lot to highlight for the senior out of Salina. While serving as a valued practice player and sometimes performing manager duties, Mortimer got put on scholarship for the 2015-16 season and was served as a leader for the team this season.
She had a career-high of 14 minutes on Feb. 5, 2016 against Drake and scored a career-high of four points on Feb. 7, 2016 at Northern Iowa. Mortimer signed on with WSU with aspirations to be a basketball coach, describing her two-year journey as a blessing.
“It’s just a blessing to be here and be apart of a team, especially this team,” Mortimer said. “We’ve grown so close together, so that’s a blessing in itself.”
Head coach Linda Hargrove said she wanted to put in every senior in uniform for the team’s final home game. She also wanted to make sure the team was able to win the game in the process.
With the Shockers up by 20 points with three minutes left to play, the decision was easily made to put in the three seniors in uniform on the court to enjoy their final minutes at Charles Koch Arena.
“The fact that we were ahead kind of eased that problem a little bit,” Hargrove said. “I’m just so happy that we had a lead and we felt very comfortable putting in some of the players who don’t get to play a lot of minutes.”
Senior Brittany Martin came up with two points and two rebounds in 10 minutes of play during WSU’s 67-43 victory over Indiana State. Martin also swatted two of the Sycamores shots, putting her 12th on the all-time lists for blocked shots in school history.
After senior TaQuandra Mike grabbed a rebound, she drove to the basket and dished out an assist to junior Angiee Tompkins to push the Shockers out to an early 6-2 lead. Mike later hit a 3-pointer that put the Shockers up 13-8 with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
Another three from Mike gave WSU a 17-point lead with just over four minutes to play in the second quarter, finishing with nine points, three rebounds and snatching three steals.
Mike, who is currently 15th on the all-time WSU list for three pointers, said that Sunday was an emotional day with the game being the last time she would get to showcase her talents in front of the home crowd.
“This was an amazing ride for me. I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Mike said. “It’s taught me a lot and I’ve learned a lot and still I’m learning a lot more. It’s been amazing.”
WSU (14-13, 9-7) wraps up regular season play on Friday with a road trip to Iowa, facing Northern Iowa on Friday and Drake Sunday.