Injuries pile up as Lions look to pick up wins

Senior guard Delisa Madry puts pressure on a Christian Brothers University player Jan. 10. The Lions won 53-46. UNA looks to compete on a four-game road trip without key players due to injury.

The women’s basketball team doctors and trainers have been busy this season taking care of the Lions.

UNA (8-5, 5-4) has suffered injuries to four of its point guards, and it caught up to the team Jan. 12 as the Lions fell 88-64 to Union University. The short-handed Lions started three freshmen against the Gulf South Conference standings leader.

“I challenged our upperclassmen at halftime,” said head coach Missy Tiber. “I said, ‘our freshmen are out there playing like freshmen but upperclassmen you guys are out there playing like freshmen in the first half and that can’t be.’”

The Lions trailed at the half 51-27 as the Bulldogs shot a scorching 71 percent from the floor.

“The first half was just ridiculous,” Tiber said. “Some of the players had no idea of how good that team is, there is a reason I voted them No. 1 in the GSC. They are very skilled and they are very smart.”

Tiber said players must learn from the loss and take something from the game.

Senior forward Makena Randle said she is not using the inexperience of some players as an excuse.

“I think the freshmen have adjusted well,” Randle said. “Mentally, physically and ability-wise they’re just as good as all of us, if not some of them even better.”

Senior Lauren Faris and sophomore Rabun Wright are out for the season with a torn ACL, junior Janae Lyde is sidelined with a broken pinky finger and freshman Jaclyn Health is out with a broken ring finger.

“If you would have told me four months ago that we would lose four point guards and still be where we’re at right now, I would take it in a heartbeat,” Tiber said. “But it has been for a coach and a team disheartening that you lose so many kids, but at the same time as a coach you have to figure out a way to manage it and make it work with what you do have.”

Tiber said despite the loss to Union she is pleased where the team is at right now at this point in the season.

The Lions finished the four-game home stand with two wins and two losses.

“It’s just disappointing because we just don’t play well at home this year,” Tiber said. “A couple of the teams we lost to this year at home are really good, but at the same time our approach on the road just seems like we’re so much more ready to play.”

UNA has a four-game road trip starting Jan. 15 against the University of West Georgia.

Tiber said the team will try to get a split out of the upcoming away schedule.

“I’m not too worried because for some reason we play better on the road,”she said.

Randle said the team is confident they can bounce back against the Wolves.

“I feel like after we lose a game we came back into practice the next day with a mental readiness to learn from our mistakes,” she said. “We’re holding our own right now but I know once we get our full team back we’ll be even better.”

Randle said the team has yet to fully reach its potential.

“The coaches tell us all the time about how we can do so much better and it’s true,” she said. “Once we finally tap into what we can do and stay consistent with it, we’ll be a good team.”