Cold shooting dooms women’s hoops in season-opening loss
A poor shooting night for the WSU women’s basketball team led to a 78-66 road defeat at Southeast Missouri State this past Friday.
The Raiders defeated the Redhawks at home last season by 21 points, courtesy of 25 points by Molly Fox. The team shot 52 percent from beyond the arc that game, but the rim seemed to have shrunk on WSU this time around.
The Raiders shot a dismal 32 percent Friday night, making 25 of 78 shots while failing to execute from the foul line (10-22).
“It was a humbling experience that we have no choice but to build off of,” junior Abby Jump said.
While the team had good looks at the basket, especially down low, the shots wouldn’t fall for the Raiders.
Cold shooting performances were also common during the pre-season, as the Raiders shot 38 and 33 percent against Indianapolis and Cedarville, respectively. But those issues failed to correct themselves before the season-opener.
Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kim Demmings shot 21 percent from the floor, and struggled from behind the arc (1-9).
Rebounding was also a concern Head Coach Mike Bradbury pointed out in the preseason. While the Raiders were able to out rebound the Redhawks 54-50, Bradbury said the performance was “OK.”
In the WSU’s two exhibition victories, the team failed to maintain their level of focus for an entire game, something Bradbury says remains an issue.
“We’re not even close to where we need to be,” Bradbury said. “Lack of focus reared its head last night, and it cost us a lot.”
The Redhawks were able to maintain a balanced scoring attack, as four players finished in double-figures. Senior Bailie Roberts led the team with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Raiders held a three-point lead midway through the first half after an Ivory James layup. But after Redhawk sophomore Allyson Bradshaw hit a jumper with 8:47 remaining, the home team never looked back and kept the lead for the remainder of the game.
“Going into the game, we knew they could shoot and hit open shots,” Jump said. “As a team, we made some mistakes on the defensive end. We just weren’t disciplined on that end the way we should be.”
Bradbury said the combination of the Redhawks’ many offensive options and their up-tempo play caused confusion on the defensive end for WSU.
“They were very efficient offensively and played at a really high tempo,” Bradbury said. “We had too many breakdowns on defense.”
The Raiders play three of their next four at the Nutter Center. WSU faces IUPUI on Nov. 14, Buffalo on Nov. 18 and head to Columbus on Nov. 25 to play Ohio State before playing Dayton at home on Nov. 28.