WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Two Lady Tops call it quits

J. Michael Moore

The Lady Topper basketball team took another hit yesterday when junior forward Alisha Hunter and her roommate, sophomore guard Sara Riedeman, left the squad.

The tandem is the third and fourth Lady Toppers to depart or go down with injury in the past two months, leaving Western with only nine active players.

Jamie Truitt left the team before the start of practice last month, while junior guard Camryn Whitaker will miss the season after a Sept. 11 knee injury.

Head coach Mary Taylor Cowles said Hunter and Riedeman decided to leave the team on their own accord and that their decisions were separate and unrelated.

She said they came to her separately to discuss their situations.

“Each situation was unique in its own,” Cowles said. “It’s not something that all of the sudden popped into the scene today. Both girls will be given a release if they . want to transfer.”

Rumors that the two got in a fight earlier last week were denied by Hunter and Cowles. Riedeman was unavailable for comment.

“We’re roommates. (Sara) is the person who I confide in and one of the only people I can trust on this team,” said Hunter, responding to rumors of the fight. “If anyone wants to question that, they can ask me. . That’s half the problems that I’ve been facing.”

The pair had not been at practice in several days, but Cowles would not elaborate on the reason.

Hunter said her absence from practice was related to her decision, but would not go into further detail.

“I’m not happy,” Hunter said. “There’s not much more to say but that.”

Hunter, a native of Arcata, Calif., said she will look to transfer somewhere closer to home.

This was to be Hunter’s first season on the Hill after transferring from Labette Community College in Labette, Kan., where she averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and two steals.

Riedeman was entering her second year at Western after appearing in 10 games last season.

Cowles said the Lady Toppers won’t change their course.

“We keep going forward” she said. “We won’t break stride. We’re going to continue to approach practice every day and work on our game plan and try to get better.”

The team will tip off its season Saturday with an exhibition game against the Houston Jaguars at 4 p.m. in Diddle Arena.