Cards drop two games as season ends
March 1, 2010 —
The Cardinals ended the season losing to Northern Michigan 63-60 and Michigan Tech 85-73.
The losses put the Cardinals overall record to 7-20 and 5-17 in the GLIAC. Head coach Shannon Baugh is looking past the records.
“We made a lot of progress this season,” Baugh said. “We learned that we can compete with anyone. It’s just a matter of us putting everything together.”
Against Northern, the Cardinals made all nine of their free throw attempts. The difference was Northern made 15 of their 19 attempts.
“If we could have gotten a few more opportunities, I think the outcome would have been different,” Baugh said.
The Wildcats held a 45-37 rebounding advantage that cost the Cardinals second chance opportunities.
“In a close game, you have to be able to come down with more rebounds than the other team,” Baugh said.
Northern led by as many as 16 points in the first half and 37-24 at the half.
The Cardinals battled back in the second half, cutting the deficit to one with 2:35 to go after a lay up by junior forward Brittany Burkhardt. That was as close as the Cardinals would get. They were held scoreless the remainder of the game.
“I think we tried to force a couple things near the end,” Baugh said. “We wanted it so much that we were playing a little bit out of character the last couple of minutes.”
After the loss, the Cardinals traveled to Michigan Tech to take on the fifth ranked team in the nation. Even with the loss, Baugh was pleased with the Cardinals effort.
“We played a tremendous game,” she said. “We had a bad first half with a lot of turnovers that really cost us in the end.”
A big factor in the outcome was the Huskies ability to make 30-31 free throws.
“Anytime a team shoots that well from the line, it’s going to be hard to beat them,” Baugh said. “As good a team as Michigan Tech is, it’s difficult to overcome giving them that many free points.”
The Cardinals converted on 7-13 three point attempts, including freshman guard Aysha Boston’s 4-4 performance.
Michigan Tech’s defense didn’t allow the Cardinals to get many open looks in the second half.
“Michigan Tech really stepped up the ball pressure later in the game and didn’t let us get the open shots we got earlier in the game,” Baugh said.
Turnovers have cost the Cardinals all season. It was no different against Michigan Tech.
The Huskies turned 18 Cardinal turnovers into 22 points.
Boston and freshman forward Grace Herzog each scored 16 points for the Cardinals.
SVSU held a 37-33 rebound advantage.
Looking ahead to next season, the Cardinals lose only one senior, forward Jenna Saarela.
With the majority of the team returning, Baugh thinks the Cardinals can use this season’s experience and turn next season into a successful one.
“I’m excited about the depth our team will have next season,” she said. “Not only our starters, but coming off the bench as well.”
The Cardinals won three of their last five games, which Baugh believes shows improvement.
“We had a long losing streak in the middle of the season that we could have hung our heads on. We didn’t. We fought back and I’m proud of this team.”