TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman women’s basketball player Lauren Meadows has known for a while that she probably didn’t have a future in the WNBA.
A 5-foot-7 senior guard, she knew last fall that she didn’t need to return from two significant injuries for her final season in order to attract attention from pro scouts.
At the NCAA Division III level, that rarely happens. But Meadows, who started her college career as a freshman reserve at DePauw before transferring to Rose in 2010, was determined to come back in 2013-14 because she loves basketball.
“I couldn’t imagine not playing while still being eligible and in college,” she said.
Meadows estimated that she’s at about 85 to 90 percent of her pre-injury form, but she’s still second on the Engineers in minutes played (223) and fourth in scoring average (6.8 points per game). She’s also the most accurate free-throw shooter on the squad, connecting on 17 of 19 attempts (89.5 percent).
By now, you may be wondering: What were her injuries?
Well, the first was a torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) suffered during open gym in September 2011.
“I drove from the left baseline, then I went up for a layup with my right hand and right leg,” Meadows said, recalling how the injury occurred. “I landed on someone’s foot when I came back down. I heard it pop on my way down and I just fell. I was scared and not sure what was wrong. … A few days later, I got an MRI and found out what it was.”
She admitted that the lengthy rehabilitation process after her October 2011 surgery was not easy.
“It’s the most pain I’ve ever been in,” Meadows insisted. “It was really tough, not just physically but mentally. I actually gained 20 pounds during the rehab process – completely bad weight. I was sad for a while and I couldn’t do what I wanted to. … So I realized if I wanted to play again, I was going to have to lose a lot of weight.”
Keeping her promise to herself, she shed 30 pounds before school ended the next summer. Then she lost 20 more pounds over the summer of 2012.
“I was in the best shape of my life,” Meadows said proudly.
So Meadows started the first eight games of the 2012-13 season and she was pleased with how she played.
“I was starting to progress in my role with the team and being really aggressive,” she said.
Coming off a 23-point performance in an 80-74 victory over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Meadows was playing a home game against Hanover when a different injury derailed her season.
“I was going up for a spin move around the free-throw line and I shot a layup on the left side of the basket,” she mentioned. “I landed unevenly on my right leg. … and all the rest of my weight went to my left leg. It just buckled and I went down to the ground, screaming loudly.”
An MRI revealed she had two bone bruises in her left knee. That initially put her out for two or three weeks, then she tried to practice again. But she went down again during a defensive drill.
After that second fall, Meadows saw the doctor again and got a second MRI.
It revealed that her bone bruises were healing, but she had a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in her left knee.
She was able to return to action late in the season, but she acknowledged that she was a shell of her old self.
“I was really tentative,” Meadows explained.
“It was just a huge mess. I thought I was OK to come back, but I fell again and I fell again. It was a real guessing game.”
So the summer of 2013 turned into another rehab process for Meadows.
“I tried to stay away from jumping,” she noted. “I decided I was just going to lift and get as strong as I could. So I lifted all summer and got my knee really strong for when I came back [in the fall of 2013].”
Entering preseason practices, Meadows thought her right knee (2011 ACL tear) was fine, but she wasn’t so sure about her left knee (2012 bone bruises and MCL sprain).
“I was unsure if I would ever be able to play competitively,” she admitted. “I was scared I would be too tentative to even be competitive. It was mostly a mental thing for me at the very beginning.”
After participating in a few scrimmages and a few games, Meadows gradually regained confidence in her ability to play aggressively.
“I had played a couple times in the preseason and things went OK,” she assessed. “I was still tentative, though. Then something clicked. I don’t know what it was, but I started going harder and faster and I was able to do the things I could before.”
“She worked extremely hard over the summer, but she was scared she wouldn’t be able to perform,” Rose-Hulman women’s coach Jon Prevo pointed out. “She’s kinda now getting more confident and comfortable playing without constantly thinking about further damaging the knee. … She’s a much better player now.”
“I’m getting there,” Meadows added. “It took a while for me to gain some confidence. These last couple days in practice, I’ve been a lot more aggressive. I always had been really aggressive before in trying to get to the basket.”
So far, Meadows has started four out of 11 games in helping the Engineers compile records of 4-7 overall and 2-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). This past Saturday, Rose defeated Bluffton 60-57 in Hulbert Arena to stay in the middle of the HCAC pack.
Rose-Hulman will need to finish among the top six teams to advance to the HCAC tournament.
“We need to cut down on our turnovers,” Meadows emphasized. “We’ve got to focus on the little details that we have been struggling to do in the first part of the season. … We have a great chance of doing well in our conference this season. We just have to buckle down and get it done.”
“We’re very young and somewhat inexperienced,” Prevo chimed in. “We’ve got 15 young ladies who are healthy to play now. They’re really starting to understand their roles and understand the college game. I have six freshmen who are playing quite a bit. The mix of them with the returning players is going well. But we’re still kinda trying to find our identity. … We’re still kind of a work in progress.”
Prevo also mentioned that Meadows’ lack of starts compared to early last season is not an indication of any lack of confidence in her abilities.
“I have a little bit of a luxury that I haven’t had in years past because I have better numbers now,” he said in reference to his fluctuating starting lineups.
“Lauren’s actually playing more minutes now [as a reserve] than she was as a starter. She has become more and more aggressive in taking the ball to the basket.”
Meadows, an Indianapolis resident and a biomedical-engineering major who plans to start work on a master’s degree in engineering management at Rose-Hulman later this year, is one of three seniors on the Engineers’ roster. Others are Kelsey Ploof and Jaci Dalton.
Ploof, a 6-0 forward, is averaging 7.5 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds per contest.
“Kelsey, over her four-year career here, has really developed and gotten better each year,” Prevo stressed. “It says a lot about her determination. She has fought through some injuries too. She had some back issues in high school and they popped again here. … She understands what she needs to do to put this team in position to have success.”
Prevo said Ploof will get her degree in mechanical engineering at the end of this academic quarter in late February and she’s already accepted a job offer with Frito-Lay in Denver.
“That itself is quite an achievement,” he noted. “That tells you how she’s able to manage her time.”
Rose’s next game will be Wednesday at Earlham.
TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman women’s basketball player Lauren Meadows has known for a while that she probably didn’t have a future in the WNBA.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose’s Strickland named HCAC MVP again, Shaw wins Coach of the Year
Rose-Hulman senior guard Julian Strickland has been named the 2013-2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and headlines the 12-member All-HCAC first and second teams for men’s basketball, according to an announcement from the league Tuesday.
It is the second straight HCAC MVP honor for Strickland, becoming the first player since Franklin’s Jason Sibley (1997-98 and 1998-99) to earn back-to-back MVP awards. Sibley was a graduate of Terre Haute South High School.
Metro roundup: Rose baseball loses 7-0 in Florida
Mount Union University remained unbeaten this baseball season with a 7-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in a rain-shortened game Tuesday.
Mount Union improved to 5-0 when the game was called after eight innings due to significant rain.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Rose-Hulman men lose game, gain co-HCAC title
Despite a loss at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon, the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and will host the semifinal and championship rounds of this week’s league tournament.
Mount St. Joseph improved to 16-8 overall and finished fourth in the league standings after a 69-57 victory. Rose completed its regular season with a 20-5 mark for the sixth 20-win season in its men’s basketball history.
Female Engineers climb into HCAC tourney with win at Mount St. Joseph
Led by 16 points from senior Kelsey Ploof, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 58-51 in its regular-season finale Saturday to clinch the final spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) earned the sixth seed in the upcoming league tournament and will face Franklin in the quarterfinals Friday at tournament host Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman men clinch share of HCAC title
Rose-Hulman clinched at least a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship and will host the league tournament starting Feb. 28 after winning 71-69 at Franklin on Wednesday night.
Rose’s Alec Houpt hopes to make fifth Division III tournament appearance
Is Alec Houpt the good-luck charm for Rose-Hulman athletics?
Should his likeness appear on a box of Lucky Charms cereal?
Houpt admits he’s not a star in any sport, yet he’s been a member of four teams that have advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament. They were men’s soccer as a sophomore (2011) and senior (2013) and men’s basketball as a sophomore (2011-12) and junior (2012-13).
Streaking Engineers return to national poll
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team has earned a national ranking for the first time this season, reaching the No. 24 spot in the d3hoops.com national top 25 poll released Monday.
Metro Roundup: Rose-Hulman's Montgomery wins HCAC award again
Rose-Hulman’s Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season after a historic performance on Friday.
Shaw wins 300th for first-place Engineers
Rose-Hulman’s Jim Shaw became the second men's basketball coach in program history to win 300 career games as the Fightin' Engineers rallied to defeat Bluffton University 61-55 on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman outscored Bluffton 39-15 in the second half to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and improve to 19-4 on the season. The Engineers are also 14-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and maintain a one-game lead over Defiance in the conference standings. Rose-Hulman needs one win in its last two games to secure hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament.
Rose’s Jim Shaw nearing 300 victories
Rose-Hulman hits the road for Bluffton and a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at 3 p.m. today.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman's Strickland earns national D-III honor
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named to the d3hoops.com National Team of the Week for his efforts in last week’s two men’s basketball victories.
Strickland, other Rose seniors play final home game tonight
Rose-Hulman will play host to Hanover in Senior Night men’s basketball at 7:30 tonight in Hulbert Arena.
The Engineers lead Defiance by one game and Hanover by two in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings entering their final regular-season home game.
Metro roundup: Sycamores, UNI to be national ESPNU game
Indiana State’s final men’s home game of the college basketball season has been chosen for ESPNU’s 1 p.m. telecast on March 1. It’s Senior Day for the Sycamores.
Strickland erupts for 41 in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland scored a career-high 41 points to help lift the Engineers past Manchester 85-65 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday afternoon.
Strickland recorded the eighth 40-point game in the history of Rose men’s basketball in the contest. His effort joins Don Ings (four times from 1967-70), Bryan Egli (twice in 1999) and Ed Downey (once in 1963-64) as 40-point games on the list.
Rose Hulman’s Schultheis repeats as Athlete of the Week
Rose-Hulman’s Austin Schultheis has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for a second consecutive time.
Sole possession of first place in HCAC belongs to Shaw’s Engineers
The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team took its first lead in more than 23 minutes with 1:23 left on the clock and then shut down the Defiance offense to clinch a 58-54 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers (14-4, 10-2 HCAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win over the Yellow Jackets (9-3, 14-5), who entered the contest tied with Rose.
Freshmen lead Rose women to HCAC victory
Sparked by breakout performances from a pair of freshmen, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team held on to defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance 69-59 Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Six-foot-2 forward Josie Schmidt was two shy of her career high with a game-high 17 points. She added five rebounds and a block in an 8-for-14 performance from the field. Classmate Abbie Marshall had one of her best games of the season, totaling a career-best 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with seven boards, five assists and four steals.
Rose, Defiance to battle for first place today
Rose-Hulman and Defiance will square off in a battle for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings at 3 p.m. today in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman needs OT to beat Anderson
Rose-Hulman men¹s basketball coach Jim Shaw did not need a reminder that you
can¹t always judge a team by its records. But he got one anyway.
Anderson edges RHIT women
Shelby Shaffer snapped a 54-54 tie with two free throws at the 11-second
mark, and Anderson University held the Fightin' Engineers in the final
seconds to earn a 58-54 women's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.
Metro roundup: Evans a national high jump qualifier
Rose-Hulman graduate student Liz Evans has qualified for the USATF Indoor Championships in high jump after clearing a career-best indoor height over the weekend.
- More Rose-Hulman Headlines
- Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win