The team lost its game at Bellarmine 72-62 last Thursday, but hit the road again on Saturday to best UIndy 69-53 and bring the Bulldog’s overall record to 17-6.
Head coach Theo Dean said a poor defensive start put the team in a hole against the Bellarmine Knights. The Bulldogs trailed by 18 points at the end of the first half, a position, Dean said, this group of women hasn’t experienced often this season.
The team regrouped at the half to go on a run in the third quarter and closed the gap to a five point margin, but ultimately ran out of time and momentum in the fourth quarter and conceded the game, Dean explained. He said this game was a learning opportunity for the team to show how important it is to start games with the same momentum as the team had in the third quarter.
“Overall, of course you never want to lose, especially in conference, but I thought we learned a lot that we transferred over to the game on Saturday,” Dean said.
Guard Sloane Totta said the Bellarmine game made the team realize its energy and intensity needed to be higher for the game against UIndy.
The Bulldogs held the UIndy Greyhounds to just six points in the first quarter while also scoring 14 points for themselves. They kept the offensive aggression going, also outscoring UIndy in the second and third quarters. Although the Greyhounds outscored the Bulldogs in the last quarter 18-16, the ’Dog’s energetic start carried them to the win.
“We shared the ball really well,” Totta said. “Everyone played very unselfishly. We also played with much more focus and intensity on defense.”
The team had a total of 22 assists, an effort led by Totta, who had nine assists for the game. Forward Maddie Re led the team in points with 15.
Totta said at this point in the season, the team’s goal is to get better with each practice.
“I don’t want anymore first halves of Bellarmine,” Totta said. “I want every time that we step on the court for us to have maximum energy, maximum effort, maximum focus. Then the scores will take care of themselves.”
The Bulldogs have four more games between them and the GLVC tournament, but Dean said the most important game is always the next one. The team will face Drury University and former head coach Amy Eagan on the road tonight at 5:45 p.m.
Dean said he doesn’t feel any extra pressure facing off against the team’s former head coach. He said he just wants to do his job and prepare the team the best he can.
“If you’re not on my side of the bench, you’re my opponent,” Dean said. “It doesn’t really matter to me how long I’ve known you or who you are. You’re my opponent for those 40 minutes, then after that we’re back to how we were.”
Dean said the team is looking forward to playing against a tough team. He said he and many players have already begun looking at film to prepare for the game.
Guard Katey Klucking said besting Eagan and the No. 1 Drury Panthers is not the team’s only goal. She said the team also wants to put itself in a good position for the GLVC tournament.
“We only have four more games so we really got to buckle down, because they’re probably the four toughest teams in the conference,” Klucking said.