Keys to a win: repetition, enthusiasm
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 17:01
After winning six of their nine games played over the winter break, the Red Wolves women’s basketball team is set to take on the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Sunday, Jan. 20. It will be their 12th home game and according to head coach Brian Boyer, “every home game is an important game.”
Some might say that eight days between games could have a negative effect on the player’s mind-set, but Boyer disagrees.
“There hasn’t been one specific thing we have focused on in practice other than repetition, defensively and offensively. During this week, we have been able to work on us and focus on changing us,” Boyer said. “Every third day we had a game and in practice we were focused on the upcoming opponent, but this break has given us a chance to take a step back and focus on us as a whole.”
The last team Arkansas State faced was the Ragin’ Cajuns from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Jan. 12. After what Boyer called an unexpected start, ASU won 48-39, which was an opponent low for the Red Wolves; the team forced 19 turnovers and had three individuals lead in scoring with double digits. Junior forward Jane Morrill scored 14 points, senior guard Ashley Olvera had 12 points and sophomore guard Hanna Qedan had 10 points—making up 36 of the team’s 48 points.
“We were offensively impatient when we started the game and the key was to show offensive patience instead of rushing it,” Boyer said. “We were more patient during the second half and we ended up doing really good.”
Although Boyer said this week leading up to the game against ULM has been spent focusing on the team, the time does come when the team has to prepare for the opponent.
“A lot of ULM’s points come from transitions; they are really good at forcing turnovers,” Boyer said. “We need to make sure that we don’t have many turnovers and get good shots in, in order to keep them from making those transitions.”
The win over ULL gave the Red Wolves an 8-9 record overall and a 5-3 record in Sun Belt Conference play; the women’s team holds a 6-3 record when playing at home.
Boyer said an area where the team has had problems is with getting the rebounds and a good defensive play against ULL is what helped the team against the Ragin’ Cajuns’ rebounding. He said Louisiana-Lafayette is one of the best rebounding teams in the conference.
When asked about expectations for the upcoming home game against ULM, Boyer seemed optimistic.
“We have had a three week stretch where we have done really well,” Boyer said. “We have had a lot of energy and we need to continue to keep it up to continue doing well.”
Boyer said he knows the season will be challenging but is aware of the importance of winning at home and how that can benefit the team.
“We aren’t even half-way into the season, but it’s going to be a tight race for the conference,” Boyer said. “Every game is crucial, especially the home games. You have to win those games at home; you can’t afford to have a letdown.”
Morrill agrees with Boyer on the importance of home games and has high expectations for the game against ULM.
“We really haven’t focused too much on ULM yet; we’ve been working on making ourselves better in all parts of our game. We know it is going to be a physical game but we have to come out, play our game and get the win,” Morrill said. “You always want to win at home and if you can win your games at home, you will always have a good chance to be where you want to be at the end of the season.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. in the Convocation Center on Sunday, Jan.20 as the ASU women’s basketball team looks to extend their conference record to 6-3 by defeating the ULM Warhawks, who have a record of 2-6 when traveling this season.