By Paige Carswell
Staff reporter

The women’s basketball team has little time to prepare until the two biggest tests in the second round of games hit right in a row.

The women will face the ninth-place University of Saint Mary (1-7 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) at 6 p.m. Thursday in Leavenworth before turning around to play tied-for-first Sterling College (7-1) and Kansas Wesleyan University (7-1) in the same week.

The women, who are now 6-2 in conference play, find themselves at No. 20 in NAIA polls. They’re one of three KCAC teams to break the top 25, with KWU coming in at No. 5 and Sterling falling to No. 14 last week.

They will play Sterling College at 5 p.m. Saturday at home. In the last matchup with the Lady Warriors, the women lost 82-80. Now, they’re hoping for redemption in Stewart Field House.

After leaping to No. 20 last week in NAIA polls, the women continued to prove their merit, winning 76-58 against sixth-placed Tabor College for their fourth straight victory.

The women came out on top and never looked back, playing a variety of members throughout the night. The Builder defense caused 31 turnovers, and the women handed out 21 assists to the Bluejays’ eight.

The women had three in double digit scoring. Jasmine Manuel, senior guard, had 14 points, Brett Bates, junior guard, had 12 points, and Tylar Hartfield, senior forward, had 11 points. Hartfield also grabbed the most rebounds for the women, bringing down six.

They turned around Saturday to pull out another win over ninth-place Bethany College, 74-51. Zefiryn Bryan, freshman forward, led the women in every category, ending up with 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three blocks and five steals. Bates haad 14 points, Manuel had 13 and Hartfield had six.

The women are currently ranked No. 6 in the NAIA in offensive rebounds per game (17.5), 13 in total rebounds per game (44.1), and 19 in steals per game (11.7).

After battling Sterling at home Saturday, they will face KWU at 6 p.m. Jan. 27 at home.

Paige Carswell is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at paige.carswell@sckans.edu.