Women’s basketball wins consecutive conference championship

Cutting down nets and taking names is a recurring message the men’s and women’s Shocker basketball teams have made this season. With a 73-49 win over Drake this afternoon, the Lady Shockers have taken the Missouri Valley Conference Championship for a consecutive season.

“I just couldn’t be any prouder of this team,” head coach Jody Adams said. “This is what you work all year long for, sometimes all of your life for. Not to get to a championship game, but to deny that you are going to lose a championship game. These guys definitely came in with that demeanor and followed through with those actions in our game plan of what we wanted to do against Drake today.”

In last night’s game against Illinois State, junior Jamillah Bonner struggled to make her presence known on the court. Shooting 2-for-12 from the floor, Bonner walked away scoring only seven points in the 66-50 win over the Redbirds.

Despite fouling out late in the second half, Bonner was able to find the bottom of the net shooting 8-for-17 from the floor and sinking 4-for-4 from the free throw line, finishing with 21 points in the contest.

While some might see this game as strong offense for the Shockers, Bonner gives credit to the team’s defense and team force.

“I feel like we just stuck through our defense and we have got the three best defensive players on our team,” Bonner said. “We just continue to work with each other and play off each other.”

Adams backed Bonner’s statement by expressing the importance that defense had in the championship game.

“Defense wins ball games,” Adams said. “Rebound wins championships. We shot the ball well so we’re not going to have as many offensive boards as we typically would. But, defense wins championships so we will stick to that philosophy.”

Junior Alex Harden also finished with 21 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

The team will now wait for the announcement of their position in the NCAA post-season tournament. Last season, the team made their first appearance in school history in post-season play but lost in the first round against Texas A&M, 71-45.

“They understand it,” Adams said. “We only have one senior so that core group understands what we are walking into and I think we are walking in with a different purpose. We were just excited to be there. Never been there, never been there in school history. Now we know a little about it. We aren’t just going to enjoy the ride; we are going to compete this time.”