Close loss means more work for Roosevelt Lakers

By James Leonard

In a game highlighted by 66 fouls, 87 free throw attempts, two technical fouls and one ejection, the Indiana University East women’s basketball team, the Red Wolves, defeated the Roosevelt University Lakers 91–81.

After retaking a wide gap in the second half, the Lakers were unable to capitalize on late opportunities and were handed their first defeat of the season.

Indiana East traveled to Chicago for a 1:00pm game Nov. 8 at the Goodman Center, at 50 E. Congress Parkway.

A slow offensive start for Roosevelt helped Indiana East take an early 9–2 lead. In a game full of fouls, Roosevelt took advantage of being in the bonus early, shooting 15–20 from the free throw line in the first half. This helped the Lakers work their way back into the game and take the lead for a while.

The Red Wolves eventually joined them in the bonus and made 11 of 15 attempts at the foul line, keeping the game close. The difference in the first half was the three-point shooting—as Indiana East shot six of 12 from deep and went into the half with a 41-38 lead. Freshman guard Tia King led the way for the Red Wolves, scoring 15 first half points, making three of her four attempts from three-point range.

The Red Wolves got off to a quick start in the second half, getting the ball in the paint for easy layups. Selfless passing and a high field goal percentage helped the Red Wolves get the lead up to 12, but the Lakers worked their way back behind a full court press defense that led to turnovers and created easy transition points. 

With 5:24 left in the game, the Roosevelt Lakers found themselves down four points, with five free throw attempts upcoming as well as possession of the ball. This came after Indiana East head coach Tiffani Selhorst expressed her displeasure with an offensive foul call on her team. Apparently frustrated with the call, Selhorst walked halfway onto the court and received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. The two technical fouls, along with the original foul, gave the Lakers a chance to take the lead after trailing for the entire second half. However, Roosevelt was ultimately unable to take advantage, and Indiana East held on for the victory.

Junior guard Becky Williford led Roosevelt with 14 points, eight of which came from the foul line. King led all scorers with 19 points.

“Tia King was just feeling it, and she’s dangerous,” Selhorst said. “She can do it all. I’m not going to stop a kid. If they’re ready to go and ready to shoot, then I’m willing to give them the green light to do that. She took advantage of that.”

The Red Wolves made an incredible 51 percent of their shots in the second half, with many of those being easy looks at the rim.

“Our highest percentage shots are layups, so our goal is to attack,” King said.

Even after getting ejected, Selhorst said she was confident her team would hold on.

“I’m just really proud of them, I knew they could do it,” Selhorst said. “When I got down to the locker room, I had complete faith in the girls and I knew they were going to come out with a win.” 

Despite giving up 91 points, Roosevelt played great defense on paper, causing 27 turnovers with 10 steals and nine blocked shots. The team’s big second half run was even sparked by good defense and easy transition baskets.

This loss brings the Lakers’ record to 1-1 on the year. Roosevelt hosted the University of St. Francis Tuesday Nov. 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the Goodman Center, which they lost 63-72.    

In the end, the Lakers’ inability to convert from the free throw line kept them from getting over the hump, as they made just 17 of their 29 attempts in the second half.

“I thought it would play to our advantage,” said Lakers head coach Robyn Scherr-Wells when asked about the fouls. “We were on the free throw line a lot. We had 11 more free throw attempts than IU East. We just didn’t capitalize. We shot 65 percent from the free throw line. Shooting a little bit better could have won us that game.”