Women’s Basketball vs Milwaukee | Photo by Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian
A record-setting night for women’s basketball was not enough to defend the Nutter Center over the weekend, as the Raiders fell 0-2 to the Cleveland State Vikings and the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons.
A glimpse of hope
A new offensive scheme for the Raiders allowed the team to take advantage of its great three-point shooting, breaking a school record for three-point shots made in a game, even against the 16-2 Vikings.
“I just kept telling our team to keep firing. That was our game plan: to come out, let the threes fly,” Kari Hoffman, head coach for the Raiders, said. “For us to make 18 and break the school record, I’m proud of them for that, and that was our game plan going in.”
Letting it fly
The Raiders have struggled all season to contest opponents in the paint, and the new offensive scheme seems to be a good way to counteract that, especially when facing a zone defense. Against the zone of Cleveland State, the Raiders would often have all five players behind the arc, passing the ball quickly.
“We actually tried a new offense against the zone where we just stayed spread,” Hoffman said. “Trying to pass first, and then if we had to puncture it with the bounce, they did that later in the shot clock. So, I’m just proud of them for executing the new offense we threw at them.”
The quick passing and the five-versus-four or versus-three situations on the arc allowed the Raiders to find openings for its lethal three-point shooting, connecting for 18 throughout the game.
While WSU would struggle to hit shots in the first half, the Raiders would hit shot after shot in the third and fourth quarters, beating the Vikings in the fourth quarter with the new offensive ideas.
“That was my message. It was to take what we did in the fourth, carry it … and we’ll be pleased with our effort no matter what the result is,” Hoffman said. “I do think if we play with that intensity, that focus and that drive, we will come out on top.”
Long way to go
While Wright State’s three-point shooting has kept the team in games, the Raiders still have a long way to go before racking up wins. The team struggles defensively and offensively in the paint, especially when it comes to rebounding.
The Vikings scored 50 points in the paint and 103 points total on the Raiders, dominating both inside and outside the arc during the game. WSU fared better against the Mastodons, but PFW still pushed past the Raider defense easily.
“Our defense has been our nemesis the entire year, and that’s something we continue to work on,” Hoffman said. “Just getting in the right position defensively and then getting in the right position to get the offensive rebound.”
The Raiders have a lot of sharpshooters and are full at the guard spot but have almost no center, which is why the team has focused on almost all three-pointers this season.
The Raiders’ next home game is Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. against the Northern Kentucky Norse. This game provides an opportunity for WSU to try and turn the season around.