BY RACHEL SHULHAFER
With the emotional rollercoaster that is the 2013-2014 men’s basketball season, U of L fans have a lot to keep their minds occupied these days. Injuries, lackluster performances, outstanding performances, life without Chane, Russ Smith’s Instagram…it’s a lot to take in. However, while all this is going on, the U of L women’s team has been quietly destroying their competition, and I think they deserve a little bit more of our attention.
Most recently, the Lady Cards demolished Houston on their own court 93-52, with Shoni Schimmel nailing seven 3-pointers to add to her game-high 25 points. Ranked No. 5 in the country, they now have a very impressive 19-1 record, and a perfect 7-0 record in AAC conference play.
Another huge attention-grabber is the heart-warming return of senior Antonita Slaughter, who collapsed during a game in December. Doctors found a blood clot in her lung, and they ruled it as a career-ender, which was painful news considering that she is one of the best on the team and is likely to have a professional career. In January, she was cleared to play, and is back to dominating on the court. During a Jan. 17 game against SMU, Slaughter had her best performance since returning. The Lady Cards were trailing at halftime, but two quick threes by Slaughter at a pivotal moment helped turn the game around. U of L ended up winning 81-66 with a 17-point contribution from Slaughter.
I’ve said it before, the personalities on the women’s team are just as colorful and fun to cheer for as those on the men’s team. Not only is Jeff Walz a top-notch coach, but his gumption mixed with the play of Shoni Schimmel, who might as well be the female Russdiculous, could very well take down the likes of UConn. Baylor knows this all too well.
I get that as U of L fans, we’re a little bit spoiled. U of L athletics is good across the board, so it’s hard to pay so much attention to so many solid teams. However, these women deserve the same treatment fans give the football and men’s basketball teams. They’re national runners-up, and could very likely end up in the championship game again this season, but this time with a different outcome.