Before Monday night’s game in Tulsa, Okla., the Oral Roberts University women’s basketball team had their eyes set on consecutive home victory number 22.
A feat, courtesy of the University of South Dakota, they never achieved.
Behind senior forward Amber Hegge’s 24 points, USD took down conference rival ORU by a score of 60-57 on the way to their fourth-straight win.
Head coach Ryun Williams said Monday night’s win was crucial as the team enters the last month of the regular season.
“It was just a very good win for this team,” Williams said. “Our kids played hard. We had a great first half and luckily had enough left in the tank to make it out of the second half with a win.”
The Coyotes will look to make it five straight wins on Feb. 4 when the
University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos arrive at the DakotaDome.
With an overall record of 14-6 the Coyotes will walk into Saturday’s game seeking retribution after dropping their first match with the Kangaroos on Jan. 7 in Kansas City, Mo. 49-61.
Williams said his players must clean up the mistakes that hurt them in the previous bout if they wish to come out on top Saturday.
“The big thing for us the last time around was just being out toughed by our opponents,” Williams said. “We were loose with the ball and there was a major breakdown in guarding their personnel. We will need to do a better job at tightening up our game before we hit the court on Saturday.”
A major concern for the Coyotes on Saturday will be UMKC senior guard Dayon Hall-Jones, who put up 17 points against the Coyotes on Jan. 7 and averages a Summit League fourth best 17.6 points per game.
“This is a very athletic team and they have a great player in Hall-Jones,” Williams said. “We definitely have our work cut out for us.”
One factor that did not play a large role their previous match-up was the play of standout Hegge who leads the Coyotes in points per game with 18.1, and rebounds with 8.6. Hegge’s play was limited due to foul trouble.
Williams said the team is ready for the challenges they will face against UMKC Saturday night.
“This is a team that is hungry,” Williams said. “Having Hegge back in full force this time around will open up our game both offensively and defensively, and I look forward to that. We take pride in defending our home court, and it is something that needs to be done.”
Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. inside the DakotaDome.