Women’s basketball beats rival at home

The Truman State University women’s basketball team scored 74 points in its first conference game, beating Quincy University Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs began conference play with a 4-2 overall record, but after beating the Hawks by 74-54, the team now has a .714 winning percentage. 

Prior to its face off against Quincy, Truman finished the DoubleTree Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Drury University, beating Northern Michigan University 67-52, but falling to the University of Central Missouri 63-70. 

Quincy University narrowly led Truman at the end of the first quarter 15-14, but the Bulldogs pushed ahead and maintained the lead from the second quarter to the final buzzer.

Guard Hannah Belanger led the Bulldogs against the Hawks, scoring 17 points. Belanger also led the ’Dogs in three pointer attempts made, making five out of eight shots. 

Belanger was closely followed by forward Maddie Re and guard Sloane Totta, who each put up 13 points against Quincy Tuesday night. 

Totta, the team’s only senior, has been an asset to the team throughout the season. Totta led the Bulldogs against UCM with 16 points and was a strong force against Quincy with 13 points. 

Head coach Theo Dean said he thought the game went well overall and that the team played with a sense of urgency and effort. After losing to UCM, Dean said it was important to bounce back and not lose another game. 

Dean said Re kicked off the team’s success with a steal in the full court press. Throughout the game Re brought energy and enthusiasm, Dean said, which made for an easier win.

Dean also pointed to guard Makenzie Bray, Totta and Belanger as factors for Tuesday night’s success. From revamping the group when offense was stagnant to securing some big shots from the three point line, Dean said the team worked well together throughout the game.

Dean said the women’s basketball team will need to work on taking pride in getting multiple stops in a row and breaking the habit of taking defensive plays off when the team is up.

“We have to have the mindset that we’re going to defend our hardest until the final buzzer,” Dean said.

Dean said the team prepared on Monday by analyzing Quincy’s common plays and working out ways to defend against them. 

The Bulldogs walked away with more than just a win. The team also had a few takeaways from the matchup with Quincy.

“We tried a few plays that we hadn’t run all year that put our players in different positions to score and they worked really well for us,” Dean said. “We also ran our zone defense a lot more than we have all year and got a lot of deflections, steals … and I was really excited to see that.” 

Dean said he plans on using the next couple weeks to review the game and tweak the team’s offense, zone and full court press to become more successful. 

The women’s basketball team plays at the University of Sioux Falls at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.