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UWRF women’s basketball struggles with young roster

December 12, 2014

The UW-River Falls women’s basketball team is eight games into the 2014-2015 season and things are not going as well as the team was hoping as its record currently stands at 3-6.

This year’s roster features zero seniors, and experience and leadership may become a bigger factor as the physical tools of the season add up as the year progresses. Last season’s leading scorer junior guard Richell Mehus is back and is looking to lead the Falcons for the rest of the season. Guard Jessie Van Wyhe is the other lone junior on the team and the rest of the 12 Falcons consist of sophomores and freshmen.

The Falcons started its season on a high note by winning three of its first five games, but since its 56-48 victory over St. Olaf College the Falcons are on a five-game losing streak. Losing to the likes of Bethel University, Luther College, UW-Superior, UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse.

The WIAC season is still young; the Falcons have only played three WIAC games, losing all three. Last year the Falcons finished eighth in the WIAC with a 4-12 record.

According to the WIAC preseason media poll, the Falcons were predicted to finish dead last in the conference. UW-Oshkosh is the early favorite to win the conference, the Titans are currently ranked 13th nationally and has a 6-1 record early into the season.

No other teams in the WIAC are ranked in the top 25 in the nation. UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Platteville and Superior are expected to be a few of the best teams in the conference.

The Falcons are one of the few teams in the WIAC that have featured the same starting five for every game. The Falcons starters have been: Kate Theisen, Taylor Karge, Mehus, Katie Messman and Van Wyhe.

Theisen, a sophomore forward, is leading the team in scoring averaging 11.4 points per game. Karge is not far behind, averaging 10 points per game. Karge also has a game high 21 points that was recorded on Nov. 25 against Bethel.

A majority of the basketball season takes place when there are not very many students left on campus. The Falcons have eight of the remaining 17 games that are being played during J-term. So when the rest of campus is at home relaxing the Falcons will be hitting the hard wood looking to improve its record. Time is in UWRF’s favor as 13 WIAC games remain, six of which are home games.

The Falcons have two more games until they get a two-week break around Christmas. The Falcons resume play on Dec. 30 against Gustavus Adolphus College.

With no seniors, two juniors, and a bunch of underclassmen, the Falcons may view this season as more of a building year. Next year however, the expectations will be different, all of the Falcons are expected to return and it will be a fun team to watch after all of the experience the team will gain after this season is over.