And then there were seven — available players for the UE women’s basketball team, that is.
Sophomore Mallory Ladd turned her ankle in practice this week and, though on the bus with the Aces to Creighton, she won’t play Thursday against the Bluejays.
“We’re not going to play her tomorrow – maybe Saturday if she’s doing better – but we just want to make sure we have her next week for the MVC tournament,” said coach Oties Epps. “It won’t be pain free, and it won’t be pain free next week. If she can’t move and cut and tolerate the pain that comes with those movements, then we’re just going to shut her down until the MVC tournament.”
Ladd, A Valparaiso transfer who’s averaged 10.9 points and 8.7 rebounds in 18 games this season, also injured her left ankle in practice before the Aces’ Jan. 31 loss at Bradley. UE lost leading scorer Khristian Hart to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in that game.
The Aces have dropped eight of nine since then.
“Pretty much, it’s the same thing I did last time,” Ladd said. “I was just doing a post move, going to get a rebound and my foot got kind of stuck on someone else’s foot.”
After the Aces’ game at Creighton, they finish the regular season Saturday at Drake.
There won’t be a chance for the ankle to heal up completely before the MVC tournament, which UE will most likely start with an opening-day game March 14.
“I’ll just keep doing everything I can to get back as soon as possible, just like last time…just stay committed to getting better both mentally and physically,” the Memorial High School graduate said. “Definitely playing through it. I want to be ready for tournament time for sure because that’s the most important thing. I’d do anything to get back out there.”
Injuries have plagued Epps’ team. Senior Chelsea Falkenstein plays on a bum knee, senior Megan Collins recently came back from a knee injury of her own, and Hart is done for the season.
Sophomore reserve guard Juliann Miller is also suspended through the end of the year.