The final stretch of the college basketball season has begun with six games remaining on the schedule for the No. 24 Jennies (16-5, 9-4 MIAA) as the team attempts to move past a 65-62 loss to Emporia State Saturday that snapped a six-game winning streak.
The Jennies led the Hornets for the majority of the game, but a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter erased their seven-point lead and ended the longest winning streak of the season.
“In a great game like we played on Saturday, we just didn’t make plays in the end and that was a huge game we wanted to win,” junior forward Morgan Fleming said. “It prepares us for March and gives us that feeling that we don’t want to have again.”
The recent string of wins was the longest for the Jennies since they began the season 4-0. The loss, if anything, showed them what they need to do to make another postseason run.
“Obviously when you have momentum, you’re feeling good about yourself,” Fleming said. “Losing one makes you take a step back and look in the mirror and realize we still have a lot of things to work on for March.”
Fleming said the Jennies tend to not dwell on games, win or lose.
“With win streaks, we just try to move on,” she said. “We call it ‘putting games to bed.’ We watch the film on it then move onto the next opponent. It’s kind of like a next game mentality. Try not to think about the past or the future and just focus on our very next opponent.”
“I think that’s just a part of motion offense,” Fleming said. “We have a lot of people touching the ball and different players can step up every game. I feel like we’ve had more people getting involved and confident as the season has gone on.”
Those contributions are coming from the bench as well since an injury to junior forward Kim Crown has opened the door for senior guard Sydney Crockett and junior guard Peyton Taylor to make an impact.
“With Kim being injured, Sydney is back in the starting lineup,” Fleming said. “Sydney and Peyton did a great job coming off the bench and contributing lately.”
Fleming is having a career year, averaging just over 13 points per game with six rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Paige Redmond is building another All-American campaign with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. Junior forward Megan Skaggs is averaging a career-high 14 points per game while also averaging six rebounds.
The Jennies will hit the road this week with two matchups against teams below them in the MIAA standings. First up is Northwest Missouri State (7-15, 3-10 MIAA), followed by Missouri Western (11-11, 6-7 MIAA).
“At this point, we can’t afford to lose games like this going into March and we should be taking care of business against teams like that,” Fleming said. “In the MIAA, if you don’t bring it, you can lose to anyone 1 through 14. So we really need to focus on Northwest and Mo Western this week.”
The Jennies matchup with Northwest is scheduled to tip at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Bearcat Arena in Maryville, Missouri. Saturday, the Jennies will face Missouri Western with tip scheduled for 2 p.m. at MWSU Fieldhouse in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Results of the Jennies matchup with Northwest Missouri State were not available by press time.