Ladies basketball lost its second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) game on Saturday, falling 52-39 to DePauw University (18-6; NCAC 12-3).
“Our confidence has dropped a lot,” forward Lane Davis ’19 said. “But that motivates us to work harder.”
Coming off their loss to Denison (20-3; NCAC 13-1) Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Ladies (16-8; NCAC 10-5) looked to bounce back when they traveled to DePauw to take on the Tigers. A slow start from Kenyon and a 7-0 run early in the first quarter allowed the DePauw Tigers to grab a quick lead.
Poor shooting and a six-point second quarter from the Ladies left them at a 29-18 disadvantage going into halftime. The Ladies played hard to keep things close in the second half, cutting the DePauw lead down to six points early in the fourth quarter. Ultimately the Ladies were unable to catch up, with DePauw ending on an 8-0 run to make the final score 52-39.
“We learned some really valuable lessons against the last two teams in the way we need to play and the level of intensity we need to play at,” Head Coach Suzanne Helfant said. The players believe the losses against Denison and DePauw helped the team regain focus.
“We just have to get back to trusting our mechanics,” Helfant said. “Success begets success.” The whole team hopes to get back on track in its final game of the regular season, on Saturday at the College of Wooster, and get back into the rhythm that helped them win six games in a row between Jan. 16 and Feb. 6.
“When everyone gets really worked up, we can start to second-guess ourselves and each other,” Davis said. Davis led the team with seven rebounds and chipped in four points from the bench during the DePauw game. She is the core of the Ladies’ bench and now leads the team in total rebounds on the season.
“Intensity comes with confidence and energy,” guard Miranda Diesz ’17 said. “We just need to feed off each other.” The Ladies hope that they can regain their confidence and end the regular season on a high note before entering postseason play.
The Ladies had trouble keeping up with the physical play of the Tigers throughout the game. DePauw out-rebounded Kenyon 43-27 and picked up 26 points in the paint. Though the Ladies struggled to score for much of the game, Diesz led the team with a career-high 15 points. Bailey Dominguez ’17 contributed nine points, all on 3-pointers.
Kenyon may have found its confidence again in the final home game of the season Wednesday night, in which they beat the Wittenberg University Tigers (7-15; NCAC 6-9) by a score of 62-47. The Ladies led by as many as 20 points and survived the Tigers’ defensive press in the final quarter. Dominguez and Griffin Tullis ’18 each scored 12 points, with Tullis contributing nine rebounds and three blocks as well.
As the season winds down, the team hopes to regain the consistency it displayed earlier in the season. The Ladies’ record now stands at 16-8 overall and 10-5 in conference play. They have clinched the third-place spot in the NCAC with one more regular-season game left to play.