Bulls 64-49 over the Redhawks
Women's basketball team's defensive performance secured victory
Saturday's win marked the second straight game where the Bulls held their opponent to less than 50 points. Senior guard Stephanie Reid had 16 points, six assists and 0 turnovers in Saturday’s away win. Senior center Cassie Oursler led the team in rebounds having 14 points and 13 rebounds in the Mid-American conference game.
“I was really impressed with how we played on defense out there and with our ability to box out our opponent,” said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. “It was great that we were able to play with a sense of urgency on defense for 40 minutes in back to back games.”
The Bulls (19-4, 10-2 MAC) spent the first quarter exchanging shots with neither team taking a strong lead. Senior guard Katherine Ups shot 2-2 from beyond the arc in the quarter. Despite the Bulls taking the lead, the Miami (OH) University Redhawks (15-9, 7-6 MAC) kept it close at 20-17 to end the quarter.
In the second, the Bulls didn’t pick up offensively but defensively. They held the Redhawks to just 6 points the whole quarter. With help from a made three from junior guard Cierra Dillard the Bulls were able to expand their lead to 33-23.
The third quarter saw both teams shoot below 40 percent. With neither team having a single three pointer in the quarter, the score was 46-35 heading into the fourth.
In the final 10 minutes, the Bulls kept up with their strong defensive performance holding the Redhawks to just 6-16 from the field. This win marked the second straight double-double for Oursler.
“I want my teammates to trust me, but to feel comfortable so they can shoot the ball and know I can get it back even if they miss,” Oursler said.
Reid was the team’s most accurate shooter going 5-8 from the court. Legette-Jack said if more baskets had gone their way in the game she would have had a double-double. This marked her seventh game this season with 15 or more points.
“I was happy about the team performance more than my own,” Reid said. “It felt like we did a really good job of staying concentrated on the game and not letting up on pressure.”
The Bulls’ biggest issue on the court came in the form of turnovers as the team had 19 on Saturday. The Redhawks had 10. Yet their defense made up for it holding the Redhawks to just 20-70 shooting. This win puts the team four games ahead of the Redhawks in the MAC West division.
Legette-Jack said she was impressed with how well her team played on defense despite not having a great shooting effort, pointing to their lack of discouragement the whole game.
Next will be a home game against the Central Michigan Chippewas (20-4, 12-0 MAC). The Chippewas currently sit first place in the conference and were the last team to defeat the Bulls. Now the Bulls will enter the game coming off two strong defensive performances, something the team does not put much stock in.
“We don’t carry these games with us into the next one,” Legette-Jack said. “We are always looking forward, trying to play the best basketball game we can play in this moment right now.”
Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Thomas Zafonte is the senior sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org