Women’s Basketball: Raiders back to work following defeat to Louisville
Finals week around Wright State’s campus is often a hectic time for both regular students and student-athletes, but the Raiders’ women’s basketball team has been making the most of their time at practice while juggling the added responsibilities of final exams.
“It’s always stressful going into finals week. We all have different schedules and everybody [has class] at different times, but the coaching staff does a good job of making sure they schedule practice around our finals,” guard Ivory James said.
Raiders’ head coach Mike Bradbury said the unique timing of finals week and his team’s recent road games have created time for the team to work on practicing fundamentals and overall improvement.
“We’re lucky we had this week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was devoted just to us getting better and doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We played 10 games so far in November, basically, and we haven’t had time to practice. All we do is prepare and play,” Bradbury said.
The Raiders played eight games in a 22-day span, beginning on Nov. 15 against Memphis.
Bradbury said his team actually benefits from finals week schedule because it means less time in the classroom and more time on the practice court.
“I love it because they are usually only in class for an hour or two so it gives us more time to practice,” Bradbury said Wednesday. “Basketball is their release, or [that’s] what they’ve told me.”
The Raiders are now five days removed from the worst defeat in the history of WSU women’s basketball. The Raiders lost 99-40 to No. 7 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday night. In doing so, WSU set season highs in points allowed in a game, points allowed in a half (55) and turnovers committed (22).
WSU had no response for the Cardinals and guard KC Elkins said her team got away from playing how they are accustomed to.
“I just don’t think we played like ourselves,” Elkins said. “We were struggling on offense and I think we got a little bit discouraged and that carried over to the defensive end.”
Perry, Denham close to suiting up but exact date not yet known
For the Raiders’ first 10 games of the season, forward Kourtni Perry and guard Symone Denham have been relegated to the role of cheerleaders on the bench.
It appears their status could soon change.
Bradbury said at the annual basketball luncheon on Oct. 23 that both players would be available to play “around Christmas time,” and when asked to provide an update on both players’ eligibility, Bradbury could not say exactly which game Perry and Denham would play in, but that they were close to being eligible to play.
“Probably for the [Wright State Invitational],” Bradbury said.
The tournament, hosted by WSU begins on Dec. 20 with the Raiders taking on Gardner-Webb.
Up Next: Raiders return to Nutter Center for first time in three weeks
Trips to Estero, FL and Louisville, KY have pitted the Raiders against top-tier non-conference opponents but for the first time in nearly a month, the Raiders will be the ones playing host.
WSU (7-3) will take on Big East opponent Xavier (5-4) at 2 p.m. at the Nutter Center.
“It actually makes me smile. We love home, we’re comfortable here and we handle our business here,” James said.