Pictured Above: Jordyn Miller, senior forward, attempting a lay up with the defense surrounding. (Tessa Castor/ Staff Photographer)
The Lady Builders lost to rival Friends University 78-68 on Saturday. The senior day honored three players on the roster Deserae Lloyd, senior guard, Taylor Henderson, senior guard, and Jordyn Miller, senior forward.
Lloyd has been helping the coaching staff more recently after having to end her playing career because of back to ACL tears. She has been a leader from the sidelines mentoring some of the younger players and teaching them how balance being a student athlete.
Henderson shot a career high in field goal percentage at 38% in her senior year. She also had adversity to overcome in her career missing her sophomore year to a torn ACL. Henderson was named team captain, and increased her play in nearly every major statistical category.
Miller is ending her career as the second all-time leading scorer in Southwestern history with 1,570 career point. She eclipsed the 1000 point mark in the season opener against Oklahoma of Science and Arts. She averaged 19 points per game in her senior season. Miller was the team’s leading scorer the last two seasons.
Although, the game had no implications on final season standings the Lady Builders were already knocked out of a chance to get into the conference tournament and Friends had already won the regular season conference title. The game meant a lot to both of these rival opponents.
“We wanted to make this and give our best effort for our seniors going out,” Whitney Corley, women’s basketball head coach, said, “To celebrate them and everything they’ve given to this team, and given to our program over the last four years.”
Miller lead both teams in scoring with 25 points along with tying a career high and setting a season high in rebounds with 18.
“Me and Tay (Henderson) were like you know this is our last time ever on a court actually competing,” Miller explained. “So we put it all out there, if you miss a shot who cares just have fun and play.”
Henderson ended her career scoring a season high six three-pointers ending with 18 points.
“We came into it like ‘What do we have to lose?’ we can mess them up and we can just have a good time,” Henderson said. “I went into the game thinking it’s my last time so why not just shoot.”
Even though, the Lady Builders season ended 7-23 (6-16) these seniors are grateful for the opportunity to play for Southwestern.
“It’s such a small school and everyone is so connected,” Henderson continued, “I made a lot of friendships and learned how to go out of my own way and break out of my shell.”
Miller and Henderson’s relationship is much more than just teammates on the basketball court. It started as roommates their freshman year, and they continue to live together and have become best friends off the court.
“Well Taylor Henderson is one of my best friends and the game of basketball has taught me more about myself than any classroom or book could teach me,” Miller said, “If you would have asked me coming in here would I be able to do such things and I would have just laughed.”
Things didn’t always click for the future stars of the Lady Builder basketball program. Corley reminisced on a time at the beginning of their freshman season that the team was traveling for an away game and the two teammates were supposed to take an ice bath after the game. Well instead of taking separate ice baths they combined their ice and jumped in the tub together.
“I’ve been able to watch them grow up and mature right in front of my eyes,” Corley continued, “What they do on the court is nothing and doesn’t compare to who they are as people.”
Miller’s favorite moment in her basketball career was knocking down the game winning shot against Tabor during her sophomore year ending their 18-0 record.
Henderson’s favorite moment was making the trip to Iowa after qualifying for the national tournament and enjoying the time she got to spend there with her teammates off the court.
Tanner Carlson is a senior majoring in communication. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.