The Indiana Wesleyan University women’s basketball team remains undefeated through nine games as they beat the Grace College Lancers 71-42 Wednesday night, Dec. 4 at Luckey Arena.
The game started out slow in scoring, but head coach Steve Brooks said the Wildcats were actually playing too fast.
“We were trying to do too much too soon in the shot clock,” Brooks said. “We just told them to slow down and see the game and not get caught up in all the stuff that was going on.”
The fast pace led to turnovers and problems rebounding the ball. Despite this, the Wildcats kept the Lancers to just six points midway through the first half to IWU’s 20 points.
Katrina Blackmon (jr) led the team with 13 points, nine of which came in the first half. She and the rest of the team listened to Brooks’ halftime instruction.
“In the second half, we slowed them down a lot because we hedged our ball screens,” Blackmon said. “And we just slowed down and we played our game. We just waited for things to come to us instead of rushing it.”
At halftime, the Wildcats had a 32-17 lead on Grace. Brooks said the team started to get into an offensive rhythm for the second half, and then the IWU defense really changed the pace of the game.
“And when we started to establish ourselves defensively, that gave us a chance to go on runs,” Brooks said. “You can’t go on a run if you can’t get a stop and we got stops.”
From the start of the second half until about nine minutes left when the starting five players rested, the Wildcats outscored the Lancers 25-7.
After Blackmon’s 13 points, IWU had a balanced scoring attack. Taylor Goshert (sr) and Erika Isham (jr) scored nine points apiece, and Val Sohasky (jr) and Teneil Krebs (jr) each added eight points.
Throughout the game, IWU and Grace committed a total of 38 fouls; IWU had 16 and Grace had 22. Brooks said this isn’t that abnormal.
“It’s the way the game is being officiated now, so you have to play through it,” Brooks added.
This game was the second Crossroads League game for IWU. The Wildcats won their first league game Nov. 6 against the Bethel Pilots 69-49. Brooks said winning a league game at home is crucial for the team.
The Wildcats plays next Saturday, Dec. 7 against the No 2-ranked team in NAIA Division II, Saint Francis, at its court in Fort Wayne, Ind. Blackmon said a game with the top two seeds in the division will be like any other game.
“We just have to go out and play,” Blackmon said. “We’re going to get their best effort, and they won’t get anything less than our best effort.”