Coach Oties Epps hadn’t talked to his UE women’s basketball training staff as of this guess, but the Aces coach suggested Mallory Ladd will play at about 50 percent at this week’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
After spraining her ankle in practice last week, the sophomore Ladd missed both games — a loss to Creighton and win over Drake — in UE’s latest road swing to finish the regular season.
“We’ll play her in the tournament. She won’t start,” Epps said. “She’s got so much heart and desire. She’ll go out and give it everything she has.”
Ladd did travel with the team but wore a boot on the injured left leg on the sidelines of the Knapp Center on Saturday. The Aces snapped a seven-game losing streak without the team’s top newcomer, who averages 10.9 points and 8.7 rebounds since becoming eligible in December following a transfer from Valparaiso a year ago.
Ladd will be the eighth available player — not including freshman Michaela Prough, who’s dealing with back troubles of her own — when fourth-seeded UE plays 10th-seeded Southern Illinois at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
The former runner up for Indiana’s Miss Basketball as a senior at Memorial High School had this to say about the injury last week: “(I’m) fefinitely 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.”