The Red Ravens women's basketball team hosted #8 Seward Saints Saturday, December 2nd. The women were coming off a four point win against Pratt Community College and their first game at home since playing Cloud County.
The student section was filled with fellow athletes cheering on their team. From the opening tip, you knew that head coach Stephen Harrel had his team prepared to play lock down defense. With 5'5 sophomore MaKayla Tanksley taking the tip against the Saints 6'2 Vilma Covane, you could tell that the game plan was limit the Saints possessions and play defense. Harrel's team responded excellently to that message.
Three Red Raven starters had seven or more rebounds for the game, followed by every player that played grabbing at least one. Sophomore Lucy Burke, Melbourne, Australia, led the team with eight on the game. The impressive part was that all eight were defensive rebounds.
"When you tell a shooter that the more rebounds they get, the more shots they get; [the shooter] will find a way to get more rebounds," said Harrel.
On the night, Burke led the team with 19 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals. It was a huge night for the deep shooting sophomore.
Overall, the win was a team win as Burke had help from fellow sophomores Sky "The Limit" Jasper and Tanksley, and a career game for freshman Alexis Wooden.
The Limit posted 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Tanksley posted five assists, three rebounds, two points, and one steal. Wooden proved to be a threat both on the glass, as well as, with her shot. The freshman put up her best game of her collegiate career with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.
After sustaining two offensive runs by the Saints, Harrel called his final timeout to go over how the Saints would attack the Red Ravens offense and what to look for.
"I pulled Lucy over and said sit here on the wing, catch the ball, and just shoot it. No steps or anything, just shoot," Harrel said to Burke.
After the Saints drained two free throws to tie the game at 61, Tanksley took the in-bounds pass and received her fifth--and most important--assist of the game. With 4 seconds left, Tanksley maneuvered through the Saints full court press and fed Burke a perfect, hands high pass.
"She [Burke] shoots so high. Her shots arch is so high and it felt like that ball was in the air for five minutes," said Harrel.
As the crowd held their breath anticipating the shot, the ball went through the net.
Swish, game over.