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TWU notebook: Injuries deplete Pioneer lineup

Profile image for By Randy Cummings / For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Randy Cummings / For the Denton Record-Chronicle

An already thin TWU roster has taken a couple more hits in the past week as two more players have been sidelined with injuries, leaving the Pioneers with just seven players in uniform for tonight’s home game against St. Mary’s.

Tabbitha Thurmond, the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder, and Kaitlyn Waller have joined Amanda Mason on an injury list that has trimmed the Pioneers’ bench to two players.

Although the injuries to Thurmond and Waller are not expected to be season-ending, the two will miss tonight’s 7 p.m. clash at Kitty Magee Arena as well as two Lone Star Conference contests before TWU takes a 15-day Christmas break.

“We’re going to have to have some people pick it up,” coach Beth Jillson said. “We can control what we can control, and we definitely can’t control injuries. We just have to focus on what we can do.”

Tonight’s game is the Pioneers’ last nonconference contest of the season. After dropping LSC games to Texas A&M-Commerce and Tarleton State last week, TWU is 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play.

TWU will play at Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday and at home against Incarnate Word on Dec. 19. Jillson hopes the time off after that will improve her injured players’ chances to return to the floor in early January.

“Hopefully most of these injuries are not season-ending,” she said. “We’ve got three games before the break, so we’ve just got to gut it out, give it everything we’ve got, scratch and claw our way to some wins and then, hopefully, by January we’ll have everybody back.”

Thurmond, a 5-6 junior guard, has a foot injury that is expected to sideline her for four to six weeks. She scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in Saturday’s 72-60 loss to Tarleton and is the Pioneers’ No. 2 scorer and rebounder, with averages of 8.7 points and 7.6 boards per game.

Waller, a 6-0 junior forward, is slowed by ankle problems and is averaging 3.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Junior forward Mason reportedly is suffering concussion-like symptoms.


Pateraki making impact

Sophomore forward Ria Pateraki, in her first season at TWU after transferring from Lamar, has quickly made an impact on both ends of the floor.

On Saturday she registered her second double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds against Tarleton State.

It marked the third time this season Pateraki has led the team by pulling down double-digit rebounds.

The 6-1 Pateraki, a native of Athens, Greece, finished with a career-high 13 rebounds against Colorado Christian and 10 boards against Northwest Missouri State.

She is averaging a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game.