BVU Women’s Basketball Ends the 2017-18 season

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

The 5th seeded Buena Vista University (BVU) Women’s Basketball team knew they had nothing to lose and everything to prove when traveling to Dubuque for the first round in the IIAC Tournament Tuesday night to take on the 4th seeded Loras Duhawks for the second time in two weeks.

The last matchup between the teams took place on February 10, ending in a decisive 69-56 victory for the Beavers.

Earlier in the season, the Duhawks edged out BVU 76-73 at Siebens Fieldhouse in their first game of the 2017-18 campaign. BVU entered the competition at 13-12 overall, while Loras’ record stood at 16-9. The winner moves on to the semifinals of the tournament to complete a 2-1 season record over the other.

Unfortunately, it was the Duhawks grabbing the last win of the season in this heated rivalry.

The game began with a hotly contested first quarter, in which both teams traded baskets at either end. The Beavers trailed behind four points heading into the second quarter, but Loras continued to improve over the course of the night.

The Duhawks found their stride, sinking countless three-pointers from well-working ball movement. The BVU defense struggled to combat the fast methodical, passing offense that came at them, but senior guard Claudia Larsen took control, relaxing the BVU defense with a pair of blocks.

Heading into halftime, BVU trailed Loras 36-26.

After the break, the Duhawks came out better than ever, continuing their trend of sinking shots from beyond the arc. Loras boasted an above 50 percent field goal percentage in six of their last eight games, and continued to show off their recent shooting prowess against BVU.

A dominant third and fourth quarter for Loras shooting 27, then another 25 points helped the Duhawks rocket again off BVU,  as the final score stood at 88-55 in favor of Loras.

Larsen proved to be the standout performer on the night for Buena Vista, leading in total rebounds at seven, and total points with 16.

Junior guard Jenn Poots came off the bench for BVU, grabbing 3 rebounds and 12 points, the second highest total for the team.

Loras was led by Macenzie Kraemer, going 6-10 on field goals along with shooting 17 points. The Duhawks ended with a 53.1 field goal percentage as a team, and a 47.1 three-point percentage.

BVU Head Coach Janet Berry was disappointed in the loss, fully knowing the team had a significant chance to win.

“We got off to a slow start offensively, and Loras took advantage of that. They got hot on the arc and we were unable to keep pace,” said Berry.

The win for the Duhawks advanced the team to the semi-finals to take on number one seeded Wartburg. While the loss ended not only the season for BVU, but the collegiate basketball careers for four seniors on the team.

The four seniors, Jasmine Demers, Abigail Daly, Jess Denholm, and Claudia Larsen, will be missed by both their teammates, according to Coach Berry.

“We had four wonderful seniors on our squad and they all brought different skills and gifts to the team. They will be missed,” said Berry. “ I really appreciate all their efforts and hard work they have put in over their years.”

It was Berry’s final game for the BVU Women’s Basketball program, retiring after 26 years as Head Coach.

As a five time Conference Coach of the Year Award winner, she will be remembered as a coaching legend for BVU.

“Losing at Loras was hard, and walking to the locker room one final time was tearful. I was flooded with tons of amazing memories. I have had a great run on the sidelines but I feel great passing the torch to Dana Christen,” said Berry.