Shaunna Knife and Ali Collins learned Saturday that life can be cruel sometimes.
The pair of University of Mary women’s basketball players became the 13th and 14th, respectively, in school history to score 1,000 career points. Knife and Collins did it on Saturday against Bemidji State at the McDowell Activity Center.
Reaching 1,000 career points is relatively common at the high school level, but it’s an incredible accomplishment in the college game.
Melissa Youngblut of Bemidji State spoiled U-Mary’s big day by hitting a 3-pointer from the top with a second remaining to give the Beavers a 76-73 Northern Sun victory.
Yes, life can be cruel.
Neither Knife or Collins appeared all that upbeat about their career milestones after the game, and that is understandable.
A victory would have solidified a home game for U-Mary in the playoffs.
Plus, it was a horrible loss for U-Mary. Very horrible. Not taking anything away from Bemidji State, but it was a game that U-Mary should have won — especially at home — and the Marauders didn’t get it done.
It’s been enjoyable to watch both players suit up for the Marauders. Knife and Collins have grown by leaps and bounds as college basketball players by leaps during their years at U-Mary.
Kudos need to go to U-Mary coach Rick Neumann this season. Because of injuries, the Marauders have gone through the season without much of an inside game — something that’s essential to succeed in the Northern Sun.
Neumann, a first-year head coach, has been able to work around them and cover it up.
One has to wonder how much better this team would have been this season if center Linda Murray wouldn’t have blown out an Achilles’ tendon during the offseason or if backup Katelynn Haag wouldn’t have been banged up all year. Murray never started the season and Haag will not finish it.
On the flip side, every team has its “what ifs.”
I liked the classy move by U-Mary men’s coach Jevin Budde when he let Alex Dorr start his final game at home on Saturday during Senior Night.
Dorr, a senior, broke a finger in practice, an injury which required surgery. He missed the Feb. 1 game and never suited up again.
Dorr, with a cast on his left hand, started Saturday’s game. After U-Mary won the tipoff, Budde called a timeout to sub out Dorr, who left the floor to warm standing ovation.
Do you realize the U-Mary women have blocked 148 shots this season for an average of 5.7 a game? Wow. Knife is responsible for 62 of those blocks. Impressive.
It’s old news now, but I’m glad to see Bill Parcells and Cris Carter get into the NFL Hall of Fame.
I’m assuming Parcells didn’t make it on his first try because those who do the electing wanted to make sure he stayed retired from coaching.
Carter, a receiver for the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins, has been eligible for the Hall since 2008. Why it took so long to get him in there is beyond me. No, I’ve never been a Carter fan, but the man was one of the best at his position.
How or why former defensive end-linebacker Charles Haley hasn’t made it is just as puzzling.
(Cindy Peterson is a Tribune sportswriter.)