Women’s basketball looks to improve on defense
2 mins read

Women’s basketball looks to improve on defense

Of all of their recent wins, the women’s basketball team’s biggest came at Frost Arena, where the Coyotes haven’t won since 1990.

Over the past few weeks the Coyote women have gone on a five game roll, defeating the University of Omaha 82-76, North Dakota State 96-94 (2OT), South Dakota State 63-58, Fort Wayne 92-60 and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis 65-59.

Despite those five straight wins, the team is still working on their defensive game.

“We have been focusing on trying to become a better defensive team. I’ve heard people say, if you aren’t a good defensive team by January, you usually aren’t going to be a defensive team,”said head coach Amy Williams. “We feel like that is the area of the game where we can continue to make the biggest strides.”

Overcoming physicality and the seven-point deficit in the game against IUPUI proved that defense is crucial to a win.

Senior center Margaret McCloud has noticed defense has become a main focus.

“From this point forward, I think that’s what we are going to do,” McCloud said. “If our shots aren’t falling, we just dig in and get one stop. Then we use that momentum to carry us on the offensive end.”

The team’s motto even rests on defense. GRITT: Greatness Resides in Toughness Together.

Stewart said in the end it’s not just about being tough as an individual in a game, but as a team overall.

“Defense is a team thing. Great defense requires everyone to be tough together because it is all about ‘team’ defense. It is so much more than guarding the basketball,” Stewart said. “As basketball players, we have to communicate to our teammates, we have to be in the right spot away from the ball, call screens, block cutters and constantly help each other out.”

Though the team is starting to work together, Williams feels they still have more to work on.

“I think we are still progressing upwards and I don’t think that everything has been smooth. We obviously had some very tough and gritted out wins that have been close wins,” she said. “We are happy to be where we are at, but we are going to have to continue to improve and get better if we want to continue our winning ways.”

The Coyotes are currently (15-5, 6-1 SL) second in Summit League standing right behind SDSU (16-4, 6-1 SL).