This year was a struggle to be sure for the women’s basketball team. Under first-year head coach Charity Elliott the Vikings played great defense but had little success with Elliott’s complex motion offense and ended up averaging 55 points a game as a team.
Despite the 3-23 record, there were some highlights, most notable of which was the outstanding play of sophomore guard Heather Arns. Arns led the team in every relevant category, averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds a game while leading the Big Sky in steals with 70 on the year.
The Viks also got strong contributions from freshman Delaney Conway and seniors JJ Magee and Heidi Stuart. Stuart battled back from a knee injury sustained in the 2003-04 season to be the Vikings leader on the court. She played every position, often guarding the opposing team’s post players.
Stuart was second on the team with 9.3 points a game and added 63 assists over the course of the season. Conway, expected to contribute an outside touch, ended up being tenacious on the inside and a strong defensive presence. She averaged 8.6 points a contest and was second on the team in rebounding with 4.9 a game.
Coach Elliott notched her first win as Viking head coach on the road at UC Irvine. She got her first Big Sky win in a 59-57 victory over Sacramento State on March 3. The season’s most exciting game was not a win, but rather a 54-59 loss to Montana on February 26 when the Vikings fell just short of what would have been a monumental upset. With a strong recruiting class, it seems as if the Vikings are on the cusp of taking great strides forward.