With the conference tournament looming ahead, the Truman State women’s basketball team played a nail-biter against William Jewell College Thursday, winning 54-53.
Thanks to an early lead, the Bulldogs went into halftime ahead 30-19. Despite an injury to point guard sophomore Rachel Steinhoff, Truman maintained the lead for the remainder of the game. The purple and white were 16 for 43 field goals Thursday, and made eight of 18 3-pointers. Senior guard Kasey Gassensmith scored a team-high 11 points during the night and shot 50 percent from the free throw line.
Redshirt freshman guard Brooke Bailey credited the win to the team’s perseverance and willpower. Bailey made three of her four shots against the Cardinals, but says once again, the team’s defense was instrumental to the win. Bailey says if the defense had been any weaker, Truman likely would have lost the game.
“It was a really close game, and we just fought to the end,” Bailey says. “We didn’t get down on each other, and we persevered. It was a close game, and coming off of two more wins would put us in a great position to win conference.”
Saturday, Truman traveled to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bulldogs were 22 for 61 from the floor and made five 3-point shots during their 65-60 win against the Hawks. After winning the games against William Jewell and Rockhurst, the Bulldogs have one more game to play before the conference tournament.
Head Coach Amy Eagan says to perform well at the tournament, the team needs to keep doing what it has been doing all year— focusing on defense. Eagan says the game against William Jewell showed the Bulldogs just how important defense can be.
“I think that this group is always focused on defense and finding a way to shut down the opponent,” Eagan says. “That is our biggest strength. We need to continue to find ways to put the ball into the basket, but I think this group is okay with playing in the 40s if that means they will get a win.”
As a three-season head coach of the women’s basketball team, Eagan says she knows the preparedness of her team and thinks the ‘Dogs have been doing exactly what they need to do to be champions. Eagan says patience and taking the final week one day at a time will help the team tremendously.
“I do not think we have anything to do that we have not done all season in order to put ourselves in a position to win,” Eagan says. “We just have to be who we are and enjoy the process.”
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