King, Ruper, Hanna step up for Lady Zips

By: Parker Perry

When a team sees its star rolling on the floor grasping her knee, it usually does not bode well.

Despite the loss of star forward Rachel Tecca due to injury, The University of Akron women’s basketball team has figured out a way to compete so far in the Mid-American Conference.

After Tecca went down, the Zips went on a four-game slide. They fell to Duquesne, Youngstown State, Robert Morris and Providence.

In their first MAC game, the Zips hosted the Miami RedHawks. Miami (OH) entered the game as one of the top teams of the conference and was one of the teams expected to challenge Bowling Green for the MAC East and MAC Tournament title.

Although the RedHawks were able to escape James A. Rhodes Arena with an overtime win, 95-85, Akron held a large halftime lead and played well enough throughout to give them confidence moving forward. The momentum continued when they played at Bowling Green. Akron again lost in a close game, 62-58.

The close games have left many wondering if UA could actually compete in the Mid-American Conference without Tecca, and in the last month the Zips have answered that question with a resounding yes.

Akron beat Buffalo and Kent State, and despite a slip up in Athens, Ohio, against Ohio University, they fought back and have beaten Ball State. The Zips have come together as a team, and even without their star, are creating an opportunity that an Akron women’s basketball team has not had a chance to do in recent years: compete for a title.

Sophomore Sina King has become the scoring leader, adding strength and force to the team from her play under the basket, while sophomores Taylor Ruper and Hanna Luburgh have also contributed form beyond the arc.

Akron will next play at Eastern Michigan this Saturday. Their next home game will be Feb. 4 against Central Michigan.