Basketball keeps busy over winter break

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Aerial Smith, senior, passes around the Maryville University on Jan. 29. The Cardinals won the match-up 88-85. Smith was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 19. Photo courtesy of Kyle Rivas.

The William Jewell College’s women’s basketball team had a relatively successful break by improving their record since fall classes ended while the men’s team, facing tough competition, and setting a record of winning half of their games.

On December 12,  the women’s basketball team was 4-3 (1-0) after playing tough competitors like Kansas State University. After playing 12 games, the Lady Cardinals moved to 11-8 (6-5) coming off of a recent loss to the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Jewell had also fallen to University of Southern Indiana, Bellarmine University, Truman State University and Quincy University. All of the women’s losses have come in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) play. They started the break with a win over Newman University (Wichita, KS.). Other wins for Jewell include NCAA Division I University of Missouri – Kansas City, the University of Indianapolis, Saint Joseph’s College, the University of Missouri Science and Technology, Drury University – the 14th ranked team in Division II at the time – and Maryville University, the latter five wins coming in the GLVC.

The women’s success over the break was led by the play of shooting guard Ariel Smith, senior. She was awarded the GLVC Player of the Week Jan. 19, 2015. During that week, Smith averaged 14 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, eight rebounds, six assists and three-and-a-half steals per game. The honor was the first for Smith, and it was the first for the women’s basketball team since Chelsea Meeks was honored February 2013.

The men’s basketball team closed the fall semester with a win against Central Christian College of the Bible; their record was 3-3 (1-0). They lost their first game of the break to Newman University in double-overtime. They also fell to the University of Southern Indiana, Bellarmine University, the University of Indianapolis, Truman State University and Quincy University, all GLVC foes. Their wins came against Saint Joseph’s College and the University of Missouri Science and Technology. Most recently, the Cardinals are riding a two-game win streak after taking down Maryville University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis, which raises their record to 9-10 (5-6).

At this point in the season, the Cardinals have numerous players contributing to the effort. Shooting guard Jordan Lewis, senior, currently leads the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the three. Forward D’Vante Mosby, sophomore, is averaging 7.8 rebounds a game, and has provided Jewell with 12 points per game. Guard Darius Tomlin, junior, leads the team in assists and steals at 2.4 and 1.6 per game, respectively.

The women and men saw the court again Thursday, Feb. 5 against the Lewis University Flyers at the Mabee Center on Jewell’s campus. The women’s game ended in a 63-78 loss to the undefeated, number one ranked team in the nation. The Cardinal women’s record falls to 11-9 (6-6). The men lost on a last second shot by Lewis’ Ryan Jackson to make the final score 73-74. The Cardinal men’s record falls to 9-11 (5-7).

The men and women play Feb. 7 again at home against the University of Wisconsin – Parkside. The women’s game starts at noon with the men’s game to follow.

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