Pioneers hold off Blue Devils for victory

Women’s basketball were able to stick together through a tight game with UW-Stout to pull off a 65-55 victory

The Pioneer women’s basketball team entered Saturday’s home game at Bo Ryan Court against the University of Wisconsin-Stout Blue Devils with the memory of their loss to the Stout team only weeks prior.
On Jan. 24, the Pioneer women’s team controlled all aspects of the game against the Blue Devils and won 65-55.
The Blue Devils began with a 6-2 lead until the Pioneers rallied to take advantage, 13-8, approximately eight minutes into the first period. The Pioneers controlled the boards and minimalized their turnovers since gaining their lead.
The Blue Devils approached the Pioneer’s lead at the end of the second period trailing by four points, 23-19, but a layup from senior forward Stacy Clark reenergized the Pioneers to maintain control of the game. At the end of the first period the score was 27-19 with the Pioneers ahead.
Coach Megan Wilson said that the last meeting with the Blue Devils ended in a loss because of defensive struggles.  According to Wilson, the defense improved tremendously, especially in the paint.
Platteville’s aggressive play and consistent fundamentals were noticeable in their 45 rebounds compared to Stout’s 30. Sophomore guard Taylor Lorbiecki led the Pioneers with 11 rebounds, which nearly doubled the next leading Pioneer rebounder at six.
Another factor leading to the women’s victory was their ability to make 78.9 percent of their free-throws.  Three of the Pioneers went 100 percent from the line including Lorbiecki, senior guard Rachel Cropp and sophomore guard Mykaela Brandt.
“The team is great at staying together on the court which led to controlling the game,” said Brandt.
An area of improvement for the Pioneers is their three-point percentage. The Pioneers only made two of their nine three-point attempts, both made by Brandt.
The high scorers of the game were the two outstanding seniors Alyssa Krajco and Stacy Clark at 16 apiece.
Clark noted that the size of the crowd and pep band made a difference in the team’s energy.
“This was the biggest crowd since I’ve been here,” Wilson said.
Fans including K-12 students from the surrounding areas such as Lancaster and Fennimore boosted crowd numbers. Past alumni and coaches, who were introduced to the crowd at halftime, also joined the Pioneers.
The Cheer and Stunt team was also joined by the Sparkles Effect Team which added to the excitement of the atmosphere.
The team traveled to the Universiy of Wisconsin-Whitewater  Jan. 28, to play the Warhawks. The results were not in by publication.