I'll be honest, Coach Jack. You had me worried. I was with you, but I was worried. Maybe the 8-8 finish in MAC play last year was a momentary high, and we were due for a sophomore slump. The sting of consecutive losses against Bowling Green, WMU, CMU (and 2014 MAC POTY Crystal Bradford - we can call it now), were no good, even if I knew in the back of my head that UB's early season schedule wasn't exactly favorable. Throw in an injury to Mackenzie Loesing that kept her out of much of that stretch, and suddenly a return to 8-8 seemed wishful.
But look where we are now! After a gritty defensive showing that has become the hallmark of the Bulls under Coach Jack held NIU to just 28% shooting, your Bulls are back to even numbers and sit at 3-3 six games in thanks to tonight's result and two close wins over Toledo and Eastern last week.
While the men will travel from Ball State on to DeKalb, the ladies are making the same trip in reverse, moving from tonight's game against the Huskies to a Sunday matchup at Ball State.
Unsurprisingly, this three game win streak coincides with a full strength Loesing, who has put up 15, 26, and 15 in the wins, while also averaging 4 boards, just over 2 assists, and just over 3 steals per game. While I've been touting UB's depth and conditioning throughout the usual 7 woman rotation, it's becoming clear that a healthy Loesing is the go to on this team.
That's not to say UB isn't getting serious contributions from the rest of the lineup, though. Christa Baccas (x2), Alexus Malone, and Kristen Sharkey (x2) have all gotten into double figures in points, while also as a trio averaging 31 boards/night over the win streak. If there's any complaints to be made, it's that Margeaux Gupilan and the assists stat haven't made much of an appearance as they did near the end of non conference play, as Loesing is taking an absurd percentage of shots for the team, but I can't argue too much with success after an 0-3 start.
Follow the links below for UB's write ups of the individual games
Malone's Late-Game Dramatics Clinch UB Win
(PS - this is only the 3rd time in 20 matchups UB has beaten Toledo)
Loesing's Game-Winner Boosts UB in Overtime
Defense Keys Late Run to Victory
UB next plays against Ball State Sunday at 1:00 PM