Women’s basketball offense stifled against defending conference champions
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor
In a match up against the defending 2017-’18 NE-10 champions, the women’s basketball team was unable to steal a win against Bentley University.
The women’s team had a tall order to fill when the Falcons, who hold the top spot in the NE-10 and ranked 20th in Division II, walked into Moore Field House.
“Everyone wants to beat the number one team in the league, and Bentley’s number one, so we really wanted to get the win,” said Pfohl. “Unfortunately, we made some stupid mistakes and they capitalized on them.”
In the first quarter, both teams seemed equally matched, both teams relying on their shooting and ending with the exact same results, 43.8 percent (7-16) from the field and 37.5 percent from deep (3-8). A made free throw from junior guard Aaliyah Walker gave Southern a one-point lead going into the second quarter.
From then on, Bentley started to put the pedal down. Between throwing the ball to their post players under basket, or driving-and-dishing to their open three-point shooters, who shot over 60 percent from beyond the arc in the second quarter alone (5-8), the Falcons started to pull away and ended the half with a seven-point lead, 39-32.
In the second half, Southern’s reliance on shooters became their downfall, shooting only 18 percent in the third, and 46 percent in the final quarter of play.
By the time the final buzzer rang, the lethal shooting from Bentley gave them a 13 point deficit, winning 69-56.
Head coach Kate Lynch said that the team’s effort and focus were main factors in the loss.
“We didn’t play a full 40 minutes,” said Lynch. “When you play a team like Bentley, any mistake that you make, they’re going to capitalize on, and that’s what they did.”
This loss comes at a time where every game may prove crucial. As the team enters the latter half of the season and battles for a playoff spot, all of the last eight games are NE-10 matchups.
As the team currently sits third in the Southwest Division for the NE-10, Pfohl said the last stretch of the season tends to be the most difficult.
“That’s the tough part because everyone gets tired, there’s injuries and everything, but that’s really when you have to give it all you got and leave it on the court,” said Pfohl. “Especially because you’re not guaranteed, we’re not in playoffs. No one knows those rankings yet, so it’s kind of do or die at the end of the year because if you’re not in the top four, your season ends.”
The team is scheduled for a three-game road trip, facing Assumption College, Saint Michael’s College, and then rival University of New Haven on Feb. 6.
“I always say you can never lose twice. I can never miss two shots in a row, you should never lose two games in a row so the pressure is definitely on,” said Pfohl. “Assumption [College] is also very good, so we just need to prepare well and practice and we can get the win for sure.”
Photo Credit: August Pelliccio