Posted by: Ethan Johnson | November 21, 2010

GLVC Women’s Basketball: UW-Parkside vs Wayne State 11/21/2010

UWP vs Wayne State tip off

I made the trek slightly further north and showed some love (and $8 including the program) to the UW-Parkside Rangers. Carthage doesn’t play at home until this coming Tuesday and I wanted to give UWP a look-see before barricading myself into the Tarble Arena for the winter.

Who are the UW-Parkside Rangers? What is their motivation? What is their quest? Time to meet the UW-Parkside Rangers, and by extension, the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and by deduction and inference, NCAA Division II:

  • UW-Parkside (UWP from here onward) has been playing women’s college basketball since 1977. Jenny Kenesie is the fifth head coach for the program and her team posted a 23-8 record last season, up from 11-17 her inaugural season. UWPs truly inaugural season record was 2-15.
  • UWP plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) which is comprised of schools from 5 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
  • UWP is a NCAA Division II school, which seems to make plain the equivocation on the NCAAs part that they’re all about the “student” part of “student-athlete”. To wit:

    Student-athletes are choosing Division II schools because a “balance” exists that emphasizes academic excellence, athletics achievement and community engagement. Division II provides a healthy environment that leads to the student-athlete’s total personal development.

    Why the “scare quotes” around “balance” in that passage? Are you saying that D-I puts the emphasis solely on athletics? Or that D-I schools provide unhealthy environments?

    I’ll hang up and take my answer off the air. Let me hold my breath and count my chickens while I wait.

UWP mascot

Okay, the game can start, the mascot is here.

Anyway, about the game:

Wayne State hails from Detroit, Michigan, and unbeknownst to me went into this game 0-3. I never would have guessed by the intensity of their warmups and then the intensity of their play during the first half. Casting about for the familiar, I made a mental note that #12 Kiara Smith was their Betty Lennox. Maybe not a carbon copy, but she played exciting ball and was fearless to the hoop.

Neither team scored for the first 2+ minutes, then Wayne State dictated much of the action, holding the lead until the late minutes of the first half. It didn’t seem like UWP flipped a switch and suddenly outclassed their opponent, rather, Wayne State seemed to forget what was responsible for taking and holding the lead.

Wayne State – both on the court and the fans behind the bench – got bogged down complaining about the officiating rather than playing their game. One gaggle of fans kept complaining that UWP forward Cheryl Leyns was “parked under the basket” thus violating the 3-second rule, but I watched and saw that she did leave and re-enter the paint several times, all under 3 seconds. Conversely, UWP Coach Kenesie was outraged that moving screens weren’t being called against Wayne State. Children, please.

UWP time out huddle

UWP Coach Kenesie is in there somewhere

UWP owned the second half, led by Jadee Rooney and Brittany Hogen. UWP beat Wayne State 77-60.

So: That was my first look at UWP women’s basketball. My take?

I’m interested to see another game, perhaps one with a compelling pre-game narrative like “UWP has never beaten [team]”, or “[team] features the #1 point guard in Division II” or something. I am not a fan of bleacher seating and my already sore back isn’t going to be my best friend tomorrow morning. I do have to admit a bias for Carthage College and the excellent Tarble Arena.

But UWP can play, no question. Here’s to another record-breaking season for UWP and Coach Kenesie.



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