The WSU women’s basketball team had their second victory of the pre-season with a final score of 59-53 Sunday when they faced off against the Lewis and Clark State College Warriors (LCSC).
“Fortunately for us, we were able to sit down and really count on our defense to win a game,” Head Coach June Daugherty said. “You know, there are nights when your shots aren’t going to fall, and tonight was one of those nights for our team and we had to count on our defense.”
WSU forced 25 LCSC turnovers during the course of the game. At the beginning of the first half, LCSC scored first with a three-point field goal. From 18:18 to 9:44, LCSC was in the lead, barely allowing WSU to score the 15 points to tie it up. From 8:37 until the end of the first half, the Cougars were ahead of the Warriors by at least three points.
“For us, the execution was not anywhere where it needed to be offensively,” Daugherty said. “There were just way too many turnovers. I thought we weren’t patient. I thought that we needed to reverse the basketball and let the system work.”
During the game, the team was caught up in making spectacular plays, she said. The team’s offensive execution will need to improve before their next game. The team played three different defenses during the game, she said. The team played man defense, match-up defense and trapping schemes.
For the first half, the WSU field goal percentage was 33.3, the three-point field goal percentage 20 and the free throw percentage 75. During the second half, the field goal percentage stayed the same, the three-point field goal percentage increased to 37.5 and the free throw percentage decreased to 66.7.
Coming out of the half, WSU was in the lead 30-27. However, LCSC scored a three-point field goal in the first minute to attempt to close the gap. Starting with a layup by redshirt senior guard Jazmine Perkins, the Cougars kept the Warriors from racking up points while at the same time bringing the score to 37-30. The largest gap in points was brought by a three-point field goal by Tia Presley, taking the Cougars' lead to 11 points (51-40).
“Cougar defense we want to come out aggressive, we want to be the aggressor on defense,” Perkins said. “We knew what we had to do to win the game and that was one of the things – we had to play hard defense.”
From 7:48 to the end of the second half, LCSC scored 13 points. In the same time frame, WSU scored eight points.
“I know my team is way better than that,” Perkins said. “Not saying it was horrible, because it wasn’t, but we just have a little bit of work to do before we get on the road.”
Execution, making the right pass, offensive rebounds and communication will be the focus of practice this week, she said.
“Yeah, we definitely recognized that we had some shooters on the floor,” redshirt sophomore guard/forward Brandi Thomas said. “Definitely (LCSC was) a good team we had to know where they were at all times and we managed to keep it through all the way to the end.”
The Cougars open the regular season Friday at the Lady Lion Classic hosted by Penn State University. WSU will face the winner or loser of UNC Wilmington vs. Middle Tennessee State Sunday.