Women’s hoops fighting to stay above .500
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WSU guard Kim Demmings played hero then bystander during the Raider’s last two conference matchups against Valparaiso and Youngstown St.
Against Valpo, Demmings led all scorers with 23 points. Her two most important points came when she streaked past Crusaders (8-12, 3-4) guard Laura Richards, who whiffed on a steal attempt as Demmings drove to the basket for the game-winning lay-up in a 67-66 win for WSU on Jan. 31.
In addition to winning the game, Demmings entered the WSU record books, as she became the 19th player to reach 1,000 career points.
The Raiders returned to the Nutter Center on Sunday against Youngstown St. (15-5, 5-2) without Demmings in the lineup due to an ankle injury she suffered in practice on Saturday, according to Head Coach Mike Bradbury.
Bradbury said no timetable has been set for Demmings return.
“Sometimes with ankle injuries, players can make really quick recoveries and sometimes not, so we’ll just have to see,” Bradbury said.
YSU unloaded a barrage of three-pointers in the second half and used two separate 10-0 runs to outscore WSU 41-24. The Penguins ultimately pulled away 66-47, sending the Raiders (10-11, 4-4) below the .500-mark and to fourth place in the Horizon League standings.
The Penguins also owned a significant 49-33 advantage in the rebounding department, including an 18-6 edge on the offensive glass, which contributed to an ample amount of second-chance shots.
Junior Ivory James started in place of Demmings against the Penguins and scored a team-high 14 points. Both James and guard KC Elkins (13 points) paced WSU in the first half and helped send the Raiders into the locker room trailing only 25-23.
With WSU seesawing between wins and losses in their past four games, Bradbury attributes his team’s inconsistent play to constant personnel changes.
“We’ve been up and down a little bit and have had people in and out of the lineup, and I think that has contributed to it,” Bradbury said.
WSU’s lineup saw six players log over 20 minutes against Youngstown St. Reserve guard Abby Jump, who had appeared in 14 games for the Raiders and averaged 5.8 minutes per contest, was inserted into the game with 6:40 remaining in the first half. Jump played 23 minutes and coupled aggressive perimeter defense with six points on two for six shooting.
“If Kim doesn’t play, then some kids will have to play more minutes than they are accustomed to,” Bradbury said.
WSU hits the road for the next two games against Cleveland St. on Thursday and Detroit on Feb. 13. Both games can be viewed on horizonleague.com.