With the Prairie Fire basketball seasons past the halfway mark, it is time to take a look at some of the highs and lows up to this point.
Senior Grace Theisen: Theisen has improved dramatically not only since her freshman campaign, but significantly from just one year ago. Her scoring has jumped from just 4.8 points per game last season to 12.3 this season. This is directly the result of her ability to finish underneath the basket. Theisen’s field goal percentage spiked from 37 percent to 56 percent this season. She has been confident and strong with the basketball in the post, something to be applauded.
Women’s free throw percentage: Knox’s 92-78 loss to Carroll University last Saturday came down to more than just free throw shooting, but the Prairie Fire’s abysmal performance at the line certainly did not help. Knox was just 22-48 from the strip for the game, marking the eighth time this season they finished below 60 percent as a team. Getting a lot of free throw attempts is always a good thing, but not capitalizing on the opportunities can cost games.
Senior Eric Miller’s three point and free throw percentage: Miller is second in the MWC with a 91.9 percentage at the free throw line and ranks ninth by shooting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. He has made at least two three pointers in five straight games, including five triples against Carroll last Saturday. Miller has been the Prairie Fire’s best option on the perimeter and will need to continue the solid play if the Prairie Fire want to have more notches in the win column.
Men’s team defense: Outside of Grinnell, who consistently finishes at the bottom of the conference as a result of their run and gun style of play, Knox is giving up the most points amongst all Midwest Conference teams at 87.1 points per game. The Prairie Fire have not kept an opponent below 40 percent shooting from the field this season, and will need to figure things out defensively if they want to compete.
Finishing at the rim: Senior Chantal Heckman and junior Becky Duffy have made some highlight reel plays when driving to the basket in the last two home games. Neither player shies away from the defense and while using the dribble has been one of Duffy’s go to moves since she arrived in Galesburg, Heckman has really stepped up her ability to withstand contact and still get off a solid shot.