SPORTS: women’s basketball game | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian
After a loss to Northern Kentucky Norse (NKU) away at Highland Heights two days prior, Wright State University (WSU) Women’s Basketball looked to get their revenge over a talented NKU team on Saturday.
The Raiders fell to 50-38 at halftime but clawed their way back into the game as the result came down to a last-second three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
The shot clanged off the rim, sealing the game 82-79 for the Norse, but the Raiders hung with a second-place Norse roster with a nine-game win streak until the very end, outscoring NKU 41-32 in the last two quarters.
“I felt like there was a lot of fight in our players and they didn’t quit,” Kari Hoffman, head coach for WSU, said. “We had players just step up, and I’m just really proud of them.”
Fighting for the ball
In the 59-77 loss two days prior to Saturday’s game, the win largely came from the Norse’s physical play, scoring 12 more free throws than the Raiders and beating them in rebounds and turnovers.
But the Raiders worked on their physical play and flipped the script just two days later, winning the rebound and free throw battle on Saturday.
“The last game we played them, 75 percent of their points came from turnovers, rebounds, and free throws. Those are things we can control,” Hoffman said. “So we hammered that home yesterday, and the players responded.”
WSU also drove to the basket for a lot of their offense, looking for points in the paint and battling hard up close, where NKU focused mostly on perimeter shooting.
“We just wanted to get to the basket, because we’ve been settling for a lot of jump shots,” Destyne Jackson, a guard for WSU, said. “So really attacking the basket and drawing those fouls is something that we need to do.”
Falling into place
While the Raiders have struggled through their games early into the season, Saturday’s game showed that with hard work, the pieces for this team have started to fall into place.
Jackon led the game in scoring with 22 points, junior forward Edicia Beck had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and junior guard Jada Roberson almost had one as well with 17 points and seven rebounds.
“You know, they’re really talented players,” Hoffman said. “Edicia had a huge second half, Destyne had a huge first half, and Jada picks up a ton of points that are off the ball from offensive rebounds and playing hard.”
Especially when focusing on the style of play the team has used in recent years with physical play and rebounds, WSU could be a difficult challenge for any opponent in the Horizon League.
“We know they couldn’t really guard us off the dribble,” Beck said. “I think we went to our strengths, and that’s what really helped us through the whole game.”