Welcome to life with The System. Some days, your team does everything well and no matter what the opponent does, the result is a positive one. Then sometimes, you have games like the one coach Doug Porter and his Olivet Nazarene women's team faced Saturday.
Kallie Benike had 12 of her 25 points during a demoralizing 38-7 run in the second half, helping Davenport pull away to a 97-69 victory over ONU. The Panthers (3-0) were ranked No. 2 in the preseason NAIA Division II coaches poll (Olivet Nazarene plays in Division I, but there isn't much difference in the two).
After Davenport led 42-41 at the break, a 3-pointer by Danielle Tolbert brought the Tigers to a tie at 50 about 4 minutes into the second half. That's when the proverbial bottom fell out. Karlee Despres gave the Panthers the lead for good with a layup, and over the next 12 minutes, ONU could only manage those seven points. Meanwhile, Benike was getting going, as was Despres and Julie Janish (eight points apiece) and Davenport put up 38 points to turn a close game in to a rout.
Leah Sevcik added 14 points for the Panthers, while Despres and Janish each finished with 12.
For the Tigers, Holly Schacht led the way with 13 points, followed by Taylor Haymes (12) and Danielle Tolbert (11). The shots just didn't as consistently for them and their teammates: they finished 22-for-93 in the game (24 percent), including 12-for-58 on 3-pointers (21 percent). ONU only took one more shot than Davenport despite forcing 33 turnovers. Tolbert had six of her team's 22 steals.
The Tigers get back at it Tuesday with a game at Judson University, part of that opening seven-game road trip we've already discussed. Good luck to Coach Porter and the rest of the team, and we'll update you on their progress.
In other System action Saturday, it was a record-setting day at Jackson (Mich.) Community College as Schoolcraft beat the home team 147-78 to set a new National Junior College Athletic Association scoring record. The 225 combined points was another mark.
Diamond Tolliver had 25 points for Schoolcraft, ranked second in the nation in NJCAA Division II. Caitlyn Owens had scored 15 for the Jets (1-1), a first-year System team. Coach Andy Hoaglin appeared philosophical about the loss.
“It’s proven that anybody putting this system in will have days like this,” he told the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot. “We’re going to get results. Right now, we’re focusing more on the process than on the wins and losses.”
Jackson CC hosts Indiana Tech on Wednesday night, and check back here for updates.