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Midway women’s basketball clinches playoff spot with 73-58 win on Senior Night

THE MIDWAY UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM clinched a playoff spot with a 73-58 win on senior night against Brescia University. Coach, John Kenger, is joined by his four seniors prior to the game. (Midway Athletics photo)

The Midway University women’s basketball team closed out their regular season on Thursday, Feb. 16, when they hosted Brescia inside Marshall Gymnasium for senior night.

The Eagles needed a win to clinch a spot in the River States Conference Tournament and they did just that as they defeated the Bearcats (11-18, 7-10 RSC) by a final score of 73-58.

It was an emotional night for seniors Jessica Rice, Patrice Tonge, Rachel Carter and Courtney Pfister, who were honored prior to the game.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these young ladies and the way they have fought this season,” said Midway Coach, John Kenger. “With the way the season started out with injuries, it’s been a roller coaster season, but they have really come together and gelled here at the end of the season.”

Midway’s seniors didn’t necessarily score most of the points on their Senior Night, but they did everything else that it took to get the win. The four seniors only combined to score 24 of the 73 points, but they also combined for 21 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

Jessica Rice kick-started the Midway offense with a triple to open the game. Patrice Tonge scored just six points, but grabbed 11 rebounds. Courtney Pfister scored nine points and collected six rebounds, while Rachel Carter added six points to go with eight blocked shots.

The Eagles took a 16-10 lead into the second period, but they began to pull away early in the quarter when they went on a 17-3 run. During the run, Midway caught fire from long distance as they hit four triples. The run allowed the Eagles to take a 37-22 lead at halftime.

Kelsee Kinder scored the first three points in the run, while Patrice Tonge tossed in a three. Madison Jones hit a trey in between a pair of long balls from Haleigh Yazell.

After the Bearcats cut the deficit to 14, 42-28, Courtney Pfister scored five straight points to extend the lead out to 47-28. Brescia, however, wouldn’t go away as they had the lead down to 10 near the end of the third stanza.

Midway essentially put the game away when they opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run to extend the lead out to 18 after a pair of buckets by Yazell. The Bearcats would get it back down to 14, but Midway closed it out for the 73-58 win.

Haleigh Yazell led the way with a game-high 21 points off the bench. She also grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists. Kelsee Kinder added 16 points to go with six rebounds and six assists in the win.

Midway finished the game shooting 46.6 percent (27-58) overall, while going 8-of-23 on three-pointers for 34.8 percent. Meanwhile, Midway’s defense held Brescia to 34.8 percent (23-66) shooting overall and 19 percent (4-21) from long distance. John Kenger’s team finishes up the regular season with a 17-13 record overall and a 9-9 mark in RSC play. Midway will now travel to Richmond, Indiana to take on Indiana University East on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in the RSC Quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m.

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