The UMD women’s basketball team is still struggling to find consistent play this season. After splitting this past weekend’s games versus Upper Iowa and Winona State, the Bulldogs are 11-11 overall this season and 9-9 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.
On Friday night the Bulldogs defeated Upper Iowa 74-62. The win put the Bulldogs over .500 win percentage in both their regular season record and conference play.
On Saturday night the Bulldogs were defeated by Winona State 47-67. That loss put UMD’s record back at even on the year.
The difference of the team’s play between Friday and Saturday is evidence of their lack of steady performance.
In the weekend’s opening game, the Bulldogs hit eight three-pointers versus Upper Iowa, shooting 42 percent from behind the three-point line. On the following night, the team didn’t make a shot from that position against Winona State.
“We got good shots during the game,” forward Taylor Meyer said. “They were just going in and out.”
Meyer feels that the team’s inconsistent play isn’t from lack of effort or skill, but is due to the lack of focus for a whole game.
Different tempo, different competition of games and struggling to find a balance are the key factors that senior guard Jessica Newman felt played a role in the mismatched play of last weekend.
The team’s inexperience with handling cold streaks during a game can also be attributed to that lack of focus.
During Saturday’s game against Winona State, the team’s confidence appeared to decrease as shot after shot missed the mark.
Shooting 20 for 66 could be a reason for the decrease in confidence. It was apparent that the confidence level of the team differed from Friday to Saturday night.
“As a leader on the team, getting other teammates easier shots can be helpful — as well as encouraging other ladies on the team to keep their confidence up, even if the shots aren’t falling,” Meyer said.
“You have to lead by example, because talk is cheap,” Newman said. “We can’t dwell on the past; we have to worry about the next day, practice and game.”
Both Meyer and Newman felt that if the team could stay focused for the full 40 minutes of game play, then the future is promising for this Bulldog team come tournament time.
“Every game in the conference is an equal battle, every team has strong chance,” Newman said.
Saturday’s game could be a good learning tool for the ladies to use for future play. Winona State was hard to stop, because they displayed balance and focus — something the Bulldogs didn’t do.
The Bulldogs are a youthful team with only three seniors on the roster, but when the Bulldogs play with more focus, effort and balance the team feels they can beat any opponent.
Consistency will be needed for UMD to win their next pair of conference games versus Minnesota State Moorhead and Northern State University — both teams defeated UMD earlier in the season.
BY ROB BLOCKER