By Michelle Dreiling
The basketball women play their first conference game of the season against the University of Saint Mary at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at home. The women enter Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 5-2 record, placing them in a tie for first.
The Lady Builders took on Peru State University Nov. 30 at home. They were quick to score, jumping to an 8-point lead in the first few minutes. The first half went by quickly. The Builders led at halftime with a score of 36-22. The second half took significantly longer than the first due to the amount of fouling from both sides. By the ten minute mark, Southwestern had 5 fouls and Peru State had 8. With just over 8 minutes to go, Peru State reached double bonus. The remaining minutes of the game were littered with fouls. For almost two whole minutes up until the 2 minute mark, scoring was restricted exclusively to foul shots. Both teams made 65 percent of their free throws in the game, but Southwestern committed 31 fouls to Peru State’s 52. Southwestern came out of the game with an 83-68 win. Lead scorers were Andrea Smith, sophomore forward, with 21 points, Jasmine Manuel, junior guard, with 20, and Sara Maxwell, junior forward, with 17.
The Lady Builders dominated the Oklahoma Wesleyan Lady Eagles in an away game Nov. 24. After this game, their record was 4-2. The Builders led most of the first half fairly easily, although they kept the margin within a few baskets. The game’s fierce intensity began with only a few minutes left in the first half, with both sides committing several fouls. Both teams were playing all out basketball. After a Southwestern foul with just over a minute left in the first half, Dave Denly, head women’s basketball coach, joined in the action with a technical. The Builders went into halftime leading 48-36.
Southwestern came out focused and ready to win in the second half. The Builders maintained at least a 20-point margin through most of the second half, and had significantly fewer turnovers in this game than the previous three games, with 15. They shot field goals with 44 percent accuracy, three-pointers with 50 percent, and free throws with 70 percent. Jasmine Jackson, sophomore guard, led the scoring with 16 points, and Tylar Hartfield, junior forward, led the team in total rebounds with 9 rebounds.
Although the Builders came out of this week with two wins, Melissa Borthwick, senior forward, said the team still needs work. “I don’t feel like we played to our full potential tonight. We definitely need to work on finishing layups and two foot shots in the paint,” said Borthwick.
Hartfield agreed. “We are making progress, but tonight we took a few steps back that we need to get better at. But overall we still can come out with a win and we are working better on playing together as a team,” said Hartfield.
“I think we’ve shown some signs of improvement on the offensive end. Against Oklahoma Wesleyan and in the first half of the Peru State game we allowed ourselves to find success in some of the areas that we’ve been struggling in. It was good to see us growing on the offensive end, which was one of our big areas of challenge from the first five games of the year. We obviously need to get more consistent on making shots a little closer to the basket and cut down on our turnovers and careless mistakes,” said Dave Denly, head women’s basketball coach.
Denly said the hardest thing about going into conference play this week will be getting used to the intensity. “They’re more familiar with your personnel, and they’re just a lot more competitive. The intensity level is up when you get into conference play,” said Denly.
Michelle Dreiling is a senior majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.