Panthers with decisive win to end the season
ELSAH — Tuesday the Principia College women's basketball team hosted the MacMurray College Highlanders for their final game of the season, ending in an impressive 72-55 victory.
Celebrating three seniors — Becca DeNicholas, Karina Olsen and McKinzie Wilgus — Principia came out hot to start, going up 11-0 with a 3-pointer from Wilgus before the Highlanders scored their first bucket.
With a defensive focus that became trademark for the Panthers in the latter half of the season, Principia was able to gradually increase their lead, keeping MacMurray on their back heels for the majority of the first half.
Putting an exclamation point on the end of the half was the captain Olsen who, with under a minute to play, blocked a Highlander jump shot at the top of the key, took the ball coast to coast for the layup and completed a traditional 3-point play after being fouled. This allowed the Panthers to head into the locker room at half time with a comfortable 37-19 advantage.
With very balanced scoring throughout the game (the Panthers finished with four players in double figures) Principia did all the little things to seal the last game of the season for their seniors.
The Panthers won the rebounding battle, shot 46 percent from the field, and made 29 of 33 free throw attempts to finish with an 88 percent charity-stripe percentage. The defensive dominance continued for Principia throughout the second half, and despite a brief lapse in scoring, there was never any doubt that the Panthers had taken the game.
As the final buzzer sounded, Principia came away with their final win 72-55 to finish 10-12 on the season overall. Notable statistical contributions included: DeNicholas with a season-high 10 points, Olsen with 13 points, eight boards and a perfect performance from the line going 7 of 7; Kara Johnson with 18 points and eight rebounds and Rachel Perea who finished with a game-high 21 points, 12 boards, and five assists.
The trio of seniors have been crucial to the Principia program over the last four years and will be sorely missed.
Principia Falls to MacMurray on Senior Night 98-71
ELSAH — Principia College finished its 2014-15 men's basketball season on Tuesday night against conference opponent MacMurray College.
MacMurray proved to own too many guns as they outshot the Panthers for a final score of 98-71.
Freshman Parker Davidson led the Panthers in scoring with 16 points and pulled down five rebounds. He also had two assists, two steals and two blocks. Junior Larry Patterson had 15 points. Principia's lone senior, Dorian Watkins, finished his career with eight points and three assists on Tuesday.
Macmuray's powerful lineup proved to be too much on the boards, as the Highlanders out rebounded the Panthers 40 to 21. Both teams shot well from the line with Principia going 23 of 29 and MacMurray going 21 of 27.
Principia is done for the season, having not qualified for postseason play. MacMurray will advance as one of the top four teams in the conference to the conference tournament. The winner qualifies for the NCAA national tournament, beginning in about 10 days.