By: NEIL KING
The IUSB women’s team dealt out some revenge to Cardinal Stritch University (CSU) on Wednesday, Jan. 29, with a tough defense and a couple timely free throws. CSU came to IUSB with just one loss and ranked sixth in the Coaches Top 25 poll.
Last season CSU beat the Lady Titans twice in the regular season by a combined total of 20 points, and once in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) semifinals to close the Titan’s season with a 13-point loss.
The three points counted and sparked an 11-2 run by CSU that erased what was IUSB’s biggest lead of the game. Following CSU’s run the lead switched five times and was tied six times in the first half. IUSB went into halftime behind 37-39.
Led by Sly’s 10 and Maegan Callaway’s 8-second half points, the women went on to trade the lead three more times with the Wolves.
The Lady Titans took the lead back for the last time halfway through the second half as Lauren Adams beat the shot clock for a bucket and put the Titans up 49-48.
While the lead never felt solidified, the women played with a tenacious defensive scheme that saw two players gravitating to the ball handler often. There were a couple late passes that the Titans swatted out of bounds and stifled any momentum that the Wolves had been building.
With less than 26 seconds left the Wolves fouled Sly after she grabbed a rebound and sent her to the line in a 1 and 1 free throw situation. Sly came through by netting both shots and icing the win for her team. The final score was 62-58.
There was a scary moment with about six minutes left in the second half when Emily Strilich went after a loose ball and stayed on the floor clenching at her ankle and/or shin. She was helped off the court by a trainer and Assistant Coach Mike Potts. Strilich eventually returned.
In the month of January the lady Titans went 2-5 but finished with a win against the highest ranked team they have left on their schedule as they get ready for the CCAC tournament.