Section: Basketball

Women’s basketball looks to final regular season game

Women’s basketball looks to final regular season game

Hardy had seven rebounds against Denison. | SEJIN KIM/SID/NCAA

On Saturday, the Kenyon women’s basketball team dropped its penultimate game of the 2023-24 regular season. The Owls fell to the Denison University Big Red 72-37 to bring their record to 3-21 (1-12 NCAC).

In Granville, Ohio, Denison got off to a fast start, outscoring Kenyon 12-2 in the first three minutes of the game. The Big Red refused to take their foot off the gas and led 27-9 after 10 minutes of play. The second frame was no kinder to the visitors, as Kenyon made just two shots to trail by 40 points heading to halftime. Denison continued to make shots at a blazing clip, ending the half shooting 60% from the field and 70% from beyond the arc. The Owls’ defense improved in the second half, as they held the Big Red to 13 points in the third frame. Claudia Cooke ’24 took over offensively, scoring 14 straight points for Kenyon across the third and fourth quarters. Though the Owls outscored the Big Red 24-19 in the second half, Denison’s dominant first half led to a 72-37 Big Red win. Cooke ended the day with 22 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double and fourth 20-point outing of the season.

Anissa Hardy ’26, who was second on the team with seven rebounds, believes that Kenyon can take important lessons from the loss. “It’s important to have fun on the court and give it our all despite the circumstances our team has faced this season,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Our first half against them was bad, but we were able to come back to the second half and turn our effort and energy around to have a much better game, even though we didn’t win.”

The Owls will return to Tomsich Arena for a final time this season to host Hiram College and celebrate Senior Day. Hardy is looking forward to the chance to honor Cooke and Lauryn Rauschenberger ’24’s contributions to the program. “I am excited to celebrate our seniors, Claudia and Lauryn, because they have been such a big inspiration for me and have always been there for me,” she said. “Claudia especially has been someone I look up to, and I am happy to celebrate her and all of her achievements, but I am also sad that this is my last season with her.”

Kenyon will have to wait until after Senior Day to find out its NCAC tournament opponent, but Hardy believes that the Owls’ success is within their control: “We need to come together and stay focused throughout the game to be successful. We have had so many great spurts this season, and if we can channel that and keep the momentum going the entire game, we will be successful.”

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