Women’s basketball embraces win streak
After a slow 3-4 start, the women’s basketball team is doing something that has not been done in a long time. Rick Tice, head coach, said the rough beginning was due to the high number of freshman and transferes on the team.
Once the players settled in to Malone basketball, the team charged forward with great success. Following the 3-4 record, the team went on a nine game win streak.
“The chemistry and confidence have come along with our current success, and seeing our girls play as a team has been really exciting,” said Tice.
The streak has been a huge lift for the team, and the fact that the team is much larger than in years past has been very helpful for the starters. Additionally, the overall health of the team and readiness of each player means better distribution of playing time.
Junior forward Baylen Dyrlund is the G-MAC’s ninth-ranked scorer at 12.5 points per game and the seventh-ranked rebounder at 6.7 a game. She leads the league with 37 offensive boards. Over the last five games, Dyrlund is averaging 15 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 56.9% from the field.
Dyrlund’s impressive performance contributed to high-emotion wins, including victories over cross-town rival Walsh University and Division I Bowling Green State University.
“Beating Walsh and Bowling Green in the same week really boosted our morale, and our confidence has grown ever since,” Dyrlund said. “We have good leadership on this team, and I believe that is what has helped lead to this current win streak.”
Hannah McCue is a graduate student transfer from Miami of Ohio who played with Rachel Goddard when Goddard was also there. McCue plays forward and has been a driving force behind a few of the Malone comebacks this season.
McCue was named the G-MAC player of the week for her efforts. One of the premier defenders in the conference, McCue ranks second in rebounds (9.8 rpg), second in steals (2.1 spg), and fourth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg).
“Coming to Malone was bittersweet for me because I was leaving a school I had played my undergrad at. After the Bowling Green win I was a bit sad because I knew it was my last time playing Division I competition,” McCue said. “My job as a transfer student was to trust the process, and I think the rest of the girls have done that as well since we are on this win streak. I know that no matter if we win or lose our team will compete no matter the competition, and that is one thing you can guarantee about us,” McCue said.
In addition to wins over Walsh and Bowling Green, Malone has defeated Carlow University, Caldwell University, Nyack College, Alderson Broaddus University, and Davis & Elkins University during the streak.
Women’s basketball is back in action at home Feb. 2 against Kentucky Wesleyan.
“We are having fun and we are exciting to watch, so come out and enjoy the game,” McCue said.
Rob Elder is a staff writer for The Aviso