Injuries plague women’s basketball


Danny Pulliam (left), redshirt senior point guard, dribbles the ball Feb. 9 at the Convocation Center against the Ball State Cardinals. After working her way back from an injury last season, Pulliam will take on an increased role with other players recovering from offseason injuries early this season.

By Frank Gogola

Women’s basketball is focused on healing up for the conference season as it heads into the 2014-15 campaign with nearly half its roster expected to miss part or all of the season.

Of the 14-woman roster, three Huskies will miss the entire season, while three more are dealing with injuries. With the run on injuries, head coach Kathi Bennett said it’s imperative for the whole to be greater than the sum of it parts.

“This is probably the first team we’ve had where [we] literally [used] the word ‘grind’ because we got to do it on the defensive end, and we’re going to have to do it on the offensive end,” Bennett said. “Until we get some players back we’re going to have to grind.”

Senior forward Natecia Augusta, who led the team with 24 blocks, was tied for first in rebounds (5.4) and was second in points (10.4) last season, will be out for the season with an ACL injury. Sophomore forward Jazmine Harris, one of the Huskies’ main bench players, will miss the year due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sophomore guard Shavonné Brewer will sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Additionally, senior shooting guard Amanda Corral, who led last season’s team in points (13.5) and total steals (33), is expected to be out until mid-December because of surgery on her hand. Freshman guard Georgia Breunig, who Bennett called “one of the best shooters I’ve seen shoot the ball with range,” is working her way back from a broken foot.

“When you have adversity and difficulty, other players have to step up,” Bennett said. “And so we’re having players step up, and they’re getting valuable experience, and because of what this has done we’re going to be better for it, and I truly believe that. These players truly believe it. They have a great deal of faith in what we’re doing. So, I think you got to weather some games, weather some storms, but it’s going to make us better in the end.”

Redshirt senior forward Jenna Thorp has returned from a knee injury, and she said she’s “coming along” and “slowly working into it,” practicing for the second time Tuesday. She has primarily played power forward but will alternate between the power forward and the small forward position throughout the season, and she will be taking on more of leadership role.

“I feel more responsible just being around [the program] and knowing what it takes,” Thorp said.

Redshirt junior guard Lacia Gorman is getting ready to play after not playing the past two years due to transfer rules and an injury, respectively. Redshirt sophomore forward Cassidy Glenn is eligible after sitting out last season due to transfer rules.

Bennett said she hopes to have all 11 players ready to go by mid-December so they can get a few games in before conference play, which is “what it is about.”

Danny Pulliam, redshirt senior point guard, is expected to serve as a team leader and add a punch to the offense and defense while the injured players work their way back before the conference season begins in January.

“I think that the MAC this year is going to be wide open,” Pulliam said. “We have a lot of teams that don’t have as much experience. I think that everybody is pretty much [even] and everybody has a chance.

“And I think that for us … our biggest thing that we have to worry about is ourselves and not so much other teams but just coming together as one team and working to compete each game.”