Column: Women’s basketball is struggling right now, but their future looks bright

The young team had problems finding their rhythm this season

Column: Women’s basketball is struggling right now, but their future looks bright

The women's basketball team cheers during a Nov. 9, 2018 game against Tulsa.

AU women’s basketball has been having a rough season to say the least. That was even further compounded by a tough loss to the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday, sinking them to 4-6 in Patriot League play and 8-12 overall – a significant dropoff for a team that just last season made it to the Patriot League championship game.

Last season, AU went 16-2 against Patriot League opponents, generating better production in most offensive stat categories. Last season's squad had more points per game (63.9), shot the three-pointer at a higher percentage (35%) and dished out more assists per game (15.2) while committing fewer turnovers (13.5) and more assists per game (15.2).

If it seems like AU has a completely new team this year, well, that is mostly because it is. Last season, AU lost three seniors from its 12-player roster: guard Kaitlyn Lewis, guard Elina Koskimies and forward Cecily Carl. Of the 13 players on the active roster, four are freshmen and five are sophomores. It would be difficult for any team to make up for this much of a loss in both talent and leadership.

And yet, AU’s core group has demonstrated that they have an exciting future. This is an extremely young and talented team that has shown great potential this season, especially during a three-game winning streak from December into early January.

Their inexperience and the loss of so many veterans might be able to explain why the team has been unable to find a consistent rhythm this season.

“This was a tough loss,” said senior guard Kaitlyn Marenyi post-game on Saturday. “We came off a high of beating Lehigh at Lehigh. We’re kind of going up and down right now … We were hoping to keep building on what we were doing on Wednesday, so this one was a tough one.”

Fans can only hope that the team finds its rhythm soon, which could allow them to make a deep Patriot League Tournament run like last season.

While this season may seem rough right now, the amount of young talent on this team will undoubtedly lead to great things. The future of women’s basketball at AU looks bright.

lclarke@theeagleonline.com

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