The Truman State University women’s basketball team was in action this past week, with a game Jan. 16 against Maryville University and Jan. 19 against the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Both games resulted in victories for the Bulldogs, and both were won by double-digits in two different fashions.
Head Coach Theo Dean said some players stepped up big in both games, like guard Hannah Belanger.
“During the off-season, whenever we offered private workouts, she was one of the first players to accept them,” Dean said. “She has grown her game on offense and on defense as well this season.”
Belanger led the team with 26 points and hit five shots from beyond the arc in the contest against Maryville.
The Bulldogs finished 11-21 overall from the three-point line, which propelled them over Maryville, utilizing their three-point success as they have all season.
“Teams sometimes have momentum plays that are an And-1 or a fastbreak bucket,” Dean explained. “Our dagger is lining up three or four straight threes, and suddenly, we’re front running against our opponent by a lot.”
Dean noted that the three-point shot is in a majority of the players’ offensive repertoires, allowing for it to become such an important part of the Bulldog gameplan.
Center Katie Jaseckas put up consistent performances for her team during the Maryville and UMSL victories.
“We have an awesome team offensively and defensively,” Jaseckas elaborated. “However, being the last help option in the paint is something I take pride in to help out our hardworking guards.”
In the matchup with UMSL, the Bulldogs had to face a team with tremendous height in the post, resulting in forward Ellie Weltha and her senior counterpart Jaseckas having to shoulder the responsibility of efficient post play on both ends of the floor.
Weltha is a hard worker and a great communicator, and her value to our team is sometimes under-appreciated, Jaseckas explained.
“Luckily, she got to show everybody just how good she is against UMSL with her performance on both ends of the floor,” Jaseckas said.
Weltha exploded for 26 points and seven rebounds, and did it all in 29 minutes of action. Dean was all praise for Weltha, highlighting her improved conditioning and basketball IQ returning in full effect resulting in the forward’s great season so far.
The Bulldogs will be on the road this week against McKendree University and the University of Southern Indiana as they look to improve their season record to 11-2.