Written and Media by Tymber Gabbert
The Greenville College Women’s Basketball team’s season came to an end in St. Louis last Friday as they lost to host Washington University 87-48 in their first ever NCAA national tournament appearance.
Wash U started off strong as they knocked down three three-pointers and held a seven point lead over Greenville just 3:25 into the game. Jamie Schollenbruch cut the gap down to three points after a triple of her own with 5:14 left in the first quarter. However, that three point gap would be the closest Greenville would come to Wash U as they were just too big and strong for Greenville to handle.
By the end of the first quarter, Wash U was up 27-14 and extended that lead to 45-27 going into the half.
The Lady Panthers were able to come within 13 points of the Bears in the third quarter, but the Bears quickly came back to take a comfortable 61-34 leading into the fourth quarter.
“It was a great experience. It was our first time playing at this level and we had great support,” stated head coach Roy Mulholland. “We knew they [Wash U] would be good. They are not a fancy or flashy team, they are just good. I knew once Coley got her second foul early in the first quarter that it was going to be a tough game.”
Senior Missy Deal led the team with ten points and fellow senior Coley Baker followed close behind with eight points and six rebounds. Kayla Hyde, another senior, also had an impact on the game as she recorded six points and seven rebounds.
Although the game didn’t end in Greenville’s favor, these young women can remember this season as being the best in Greenville College history and have the privilege to say that they were a part of it. They not only won the SLIAC championship and played in their first ever NCAA national tournament, but they also united the college by bringing all sorts of fans to cheer them on. “We had an awesome crowd,” says Coach Mulholland. “The institution as a whole needed something they could stand behind and this was it. We had professors, students, and even the Greenville College President and his wife at the game.” Coach Mulholland however, was not the only one that recognized the amazing support the Panthers had. “The Wash U coach came up to me after the game and said that we had a great spirit and the support we had said a lot about our program. By the way our fans were cheering, you would have thought we were winning.”
Although the Lady Panthers are losing some great seniors, Coach Mulholland remains optimistic about next season. “We will have a lot of returners and there are even some JV girls that are ready to step up and play. We also have a really good recruiting class and I believe we are set up to be in the top of the conference for the next three to four seasons.”
The Lady Panthers ended their season with an overall record of 20-8.