Women earn 4 wins in first 7 games

Pioneer+junior+forwards+Alyssa+Krajco+%2830%29+and+Stacy+Clark+%2821%29+contest+for+a+rebound+in+an+81-77+overtime+victory+against+Marian+Nov.+22+Krajco+and+Clark+are+first+and+second%2C+respectively%2C+on+the+Pioneers+in+points+and+rebounds.
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Women earn 4 wins in first 7 games

Pioneer junior forwards Alyssa Krajco (30) and Stacy Clark (21) contest for a rebound in an 81-77 overtime victory against Marian Nov. 22 Krajco and Clark are first and second, respectively, on the Pioneers in points and rebounds.

Pioneer junior forwards Alyssa Krajco (30) and Stacy Clark (21) contest for a rebound in an 81-77 overtime victory against Marian Nov. 22 Krajco and Clark are first and second, respectively, on the Pioneers in points and rebounds.

Mathea Durica

Pioneer junior forwards Alyssa Krajco (30) and Stacy Clark (21) contest for a rebound in an 81-77 overtime victory against Marian Nov. 22 Krajco and Clark are first and second, respectively, on the Pioneers in points and rebounds.

Mathea Durica

Mathea Durica

Pioneer junior forwards Alyssa Krajco (30) and Stacy Clark (21) contest for a rebound in an 81-77 overtime victory against Marian Nov. 22 Krajco and Clark are first and second, respectively, on the Pioneers in points and rebounds.

Sonnee Lozano, Assistant Copy Editor

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After winning just five games last season, the much-improved University of Wisconsin-Platteville women’s basketball team already has four wins in the first two weeks of this year.

The Pioneers swept a pair of contests in the Pioneer Tournament before falling at Luther College, then lost to Mount Mercy on Bo Ryan Court Sunday.

In the first game of the Pioneer Tournament Nov. 22, UW-Platteville outlasted Marian, winning 81-77 in overtime. After letting a seven-point lead slip away in the final minutes of the second half, the Pioneers righted the ship and got the game tied. In overtime, the Pioneers built up a seven-point lead on the strength of their outside shooting and held on for the win. Junior guard/forward Alyssa Krajco poured in 32 points and snared 12 rebounds in matchup.

In their second tournament game, UW-Platteville defeated Milwaukee School of Engineering 85-66 at the Bo Ryan Court, Nov. 23.

The Pioneers gained the lead from the very beginning of the game and made quick decisions for good looks at the basket.

In the first half, the Pioneers made good use of the entire court, utilizing open spaces in order to take as many shots as possible against the Raiders. Multiple players took advantage of lax defense to shoot open three-pointers, such as freshmen Morgan Hartman and Mykaela Brant and junior Rachel Cropp.

At halftime, the Pioneers held the upper hand at 37-30.

UW-Platteville continued to set the bar high throughout the second half of the game, scoring within the first 15 seconds of the second half, while MSOE struggled to find the chance to score.

Both teams increased the pace of the game, as players used their bodies to guard, block and steal, leading to more fouls throughout the period.

The Pioneers had higher three-point and free throw percentages than the Raiders, hitting 33 percent of their threes and 74 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.

Krajco, who received the title of Most Outstanding Player in the tournament, had a team-high 18 points and six rebounds against MSOE.

“I thought we learned a lot from yesterday. We kind of settled [yesterday] and today we decided that we were just going to go hard the entire time,” Krajco said. “I thought it was a really good team win. We came together and worked together to get a win.”

Brandt, a point guard for the Pioneers, said the team has gotten better at playing together through the early part of the season, but has to get more stops on defense and keep their intensity up the whole game.

Head coach Megan Wilson is exceptionally proud of the players’ performance early on in the season. However, the team must improve certain strategies in order to successfully progress throughout the season.

“We have to do a better job with applying ball pressure, keeping them in front, getting into the gaps and boxing them out,” Wilson said. “On the offensive end, we got to keep pushing the tempo, running the floor and looking for easy baskets.”

UW-Platteville was unable to keep up their winning ways Sunday against Mount Mercy, losing 76-69. Krajco and junior forward Stacy Clark were the only Pioneers in double figures, scoring 18 and 11 respectively, while five players for Mount Mercy scored more than 10 points. Mount Mercy outscored the Pioneers 46-33 in the second half to win the game.

The Pioneers play next on Saturday in a home contest against University of Wisconsin-River Falls at 7 p.m.

 

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