Women finish strong before heading to Moline

Nick Beach

Looking to avenge a Thursday night loss to the Illinois State Redbirds, the Shockers defeated the Indiana State Sycamores 54-53 at Charles Koch Arena on Saturday. Wichita State finished the season 8-21 overall and 5-13 in conference play.

The Shockers face Bradley Thursday for the opening round of the Missouri Valley tournament in Moline, Illinois.

“Before the game, the word that I gave this team was resilient,” Jody Adams said.

Adams was proud of her squad after Saturday’s one-point win.

“I love the fact that they’re catching on to being fearless and playing,” she said.

The Shockers now look ahead to the Valley tournament with some hope. They face a Bradley team with only four conference wins, but two of those wins were over WSU.

The winner of that match-up will take on top-seeded Northern Iowa.

“To win the game Thursday would’ve been great, but coach told us to take 15 minutes to think about it and to put it in the past,” junior Taquandra Mike said. “We can’t go out like this. We have to win.”

A win against Bradley could be a huge morale builder for the Shockers.

Junior Jaleesa Chapel also had a strong game against the Sycamores finishing with 10 points. She had a good laugh with Mike after the game as she talked about the Shockers’ final defensive stop to win the game.

“I knew if I would have guarded her, I don’t know what would have happened but I knew that (Mike) had a better chance because I was in foul trouble, and so she played great defense and didn’t let her score,” Chapel said.

Brittany Martin has been quiet for the Shocker since the second half of conference play, but she supplied WSU with six key rebounds off the bench against the Sycamores.

“I thought [junior] Brittany Martin did a phenomenal job on the boards. She really hustled tonight and really crashed the boards for us tonight,” sophomore Rangie Bessard said.

It’s been a tough road for Jody Adams and her staff throughout the season. Rangie Bessard credited her coaches for standing by the team and sticking to the game plan all season long.

“We did it for our coaching staff tonight,” Bessard said. “Our coaching staff had a phenomenal game plan this whole season and we won it for ourselves.”

Heading into Moline next weekend, coach Adams knows her team’s capability.

“If you have that positive energy, I think for a young team like this, I think we could do something special,” Adams said.