GALESBURG, Illinois—The Knox College Prairie Fire women’s basketball team cruised to a 65-41 victory today against the Grinnell Pioneers at home. Knox’s excellent defensive effort was the focal point of their game today, frustrating the Pioneer offense and allowing Knox to maintain double-digit leads throughout the game. The win pushed the Prairie Fire’s conference record to 6-4 and their overall record to 9-8.
Grinnell missed their first five shots of the first half, setting what would be the theme for the afternoon: a dominant Knox defense suffocating the Pioneers. The Prairie Fire held the Pioneers to only 19% from the floor, and didn’t allow a Grinnell three-pointer in 10 attempts. They also gathered 15 defensive rebounds, with six coming from Kyra Huffman. Knox’s dominance in the paint also translated to the offensive end, where Huffman also went 3-for-3 in the first half. Jarrelyn McCall also added nine points and six rebounds of her own, and as a result the Prairie Fire cruised into the break up 20 points, one of their highest margins of the season.
With such a large lead, Knox decided to rotate more of their bench players in and play with a slower tempo in the second half. Grinnell was still unable to figure out Knox’s approach at both ends of the court, however. On the defensive side, Knox again was able to clamp down on the Pioneers, using their guard play to hold Grinnell to just 3-for-13 from three and 34.5% from the floor overall. On the offensive end, guard Karlie Thorn had an excellent display of shooting, going 3-for-3 from three and scoring 11 points overall. Jessica Lee also added seven points off the bench, including two scores from beyond the arc, as Knox rolled to a victory.
McCall proved to be a boon for the Prairie Fire, scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to notch the double-double. Karlie Thorn added 17 points as well, as their guard play proved to be influential on the offensive and defensive side.
“We had a great defensive effort today,” said head coach Emily Cline. “We also shot the ball very well and were very efficient offensively.”
Knox’s next game is against the Beloit College Buccaneers at home on Friday, January 25th at 5:30 p.m.
GALESBURG, Illinois—The Knox College Prairie Fire men’s basketball team fell to the Grinnell Pioneers by a score of 126-87 today. Knox struggled to handle Grinnell’s unique tempo and play style.
The Prairie Fire used their defense to keep it close early in the first half, forcing the Pioneers to try to convert bad looks from beyond the arc. After five minutes, though, Grinnell adjusted, and began raining down the threes as they are wont to do. Knox’s defense played very admirably all the same, holding Grinnell to just 37.9% shooting from the field and only allowing them to convert one third of their threes. On the offensive end, the Prairie Fire heavily utilized the skills of Justin Windt, who scored 28 of Knox’s 42 first half points and also grabbed six rebounds. Even though the Prairie Fire shot an excellent 63.3% from the field in the first half, they did so without attempting any threes, and this combined with Grinnell’s persistence with three pointers resulted in Knox going into the half with a deficit of 18.
The second half did not fare much better for the Prairie Fire, as Grinnell continued to rain down shots from beyond the arc. Jordan Rayner took over for Knox in the second half, as he shot a perfect 6-for-6, including one three, for 13 points. Raynor also harassed the Pioneers guards, saving Knox several baskets. To combat the blistering pace that Grinnell played at, the Prairie Fire utilized a larger bench than normal. Unfortunately, Grinnell’s depth proved to be too much for Knox to handle, and despite no player for Grinnell playing more than 10 minutes, their offense still dropped 66 points. This led to a comfortable victory for the Pioneers.
“Turnovers and rebounding have been our Achilles heal all year and today was another game where we gave up too many extra possessions,” said head coach Kevin Walden. “Second chance points and points off turnovers really hurt us. We had some pretty good individual performances and many players improved their game from the first time we played them.”
Knox searches for their first conference win this Friday at home against Beloit College at 7:30 p.m.