Women’s basketball focuses on defense to start 2016 with winning streak

Jan. 25, 2016

Halle Thornton
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Before winter break, the women’s basketball team struggled as they lost three of their last four games, but their mentality quickly changed once the New Year began.

A big resolution for the team was changing their strategy, and their hard work paid off. The team rang in the New Year with a four game winning streak, and they are now 11-6 (7-4 RMAC) entering play on Jan. 22.

Head coach Shawn Nelson believes the ups and downs in the beginning of the season were normal due to some of the players being on the court for the first time.

“I was glad we got the New Year off with a great four-game winning streak. We are 5-1 since break and the key for us has been getting better at our defensive fundamentals” said Nelson.

In addition to improving the defense, Nelson wants to focus on each opponent individually.

Shannon Kelly, a graduate student working toward her masters in criminal justice, loved the four-game winning streak, and agreed with Nelson that focusing on each opponent separately was critical.

“Our four-game winning streak was attributed to focusing on each individual game, and knowing that we needed to win in order to accomplish the goals we set for our season,” Kelly said.

Kelly also attributed the streak to the team playing up to their full potential.

“When that happens with our team, we are very successful,” she said.
Kelly has high hopes for the remaining games.

“Our mentality is focusing on one game at a time, and doing the little things right. When we play defense and outrebound teams, we will win,” Kelly said.

The team will see RMAC opponents for the second time as the season progresses, allowing them to have a specific strategy for the returning matchups.

Defense and rebounding are the two main factors in winning against teams they already played, said Kelly.

“If we do what we are coached to do and play how we can, then we will beat any team in the RMAC.”