Women’s basketball grabs third in HCAC
A season of great promise for the women’s basketball team wound up being a good year that could easily have been much better, due primarily to an unusually high rash of season-ending injuries and lack of a large contingent of experienced seniors. Still, the Pioneers enjoyed a winning year at 15-12 overall, including a 10-6 record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, good for third place and a spot in the conference tournament.
Transy struggled for much of the season, just breaking even in the HCAC at 5-5 and having an overall record of 9-10 by early February, before a late-season win streak turned things around. The Pioneers won five straight conference games to qualify for the tournament, where they defeated Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the first round before falling to Manchester College in the semifinals.
All five players lost to injuries, including four from a highly touted first-year class, had been counted on by head coach Greg Todd to provide quality playing time.
“As young as we were overall, we knew we were going to depend on many of the first-year players,” Todd said. “If you had told me at the beginning of the season we would lose five of our key players to injury and still be 10-6 in our conference and 15-12 overall, I would have thought it impossible. But by the end the season we were playing very well. Everybody was pulling together.”
Sophomore guard Brittany Henderlight (shown at left) and junior guard Kelsey McCarty were named to the All-HCAC first team. Henderlight was the second leading scorer at 12.6 points a game and led the team in made three-pointers with 30.
McCarty averaged 10.7 points a game for the year, but it was her late-season heroics that helped spark the Pioneers’ winning drive to the finish line. Inserted into the starting lineup, she won HCAC Player of the Month honors for February when she averaged 25.3 points and 7.9 rebounds a contest over seven games, while shooting 62.5 percent from the three-point arc. She set a Beck Center (men or women) scoring record when she poured in 38 points in an 83-63 win over Franklin College on February 6.
First-year center Sara Sexton finished as Transy’s leading scorer with 12.9 points a contest, and also pulled down five rebounds a game.