“We have played so many games in such a short period of time,” said Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett. “We have had trouble scheduling the last two or three years during this period of time.”
The Lady Bisons (2-8) will be tested by Evansville (1-6) at 7. Evansville is 0-2 on the road this season. The Aces won their first game of the season 76-69 over St. Louis Sunday.
“Last year Evansville was a junior-senior team that came on strong at the end of the season and went to the NCAA Tournament,” said Bennett. “This year they don’t have as much experience. They have talented players. They look to their post players a lot and couple of guards that have played well for them.
“They play a lot of man-to-man defense. They will do some trapping out of it. They are really inside-oriented. They like to lob the ball to the post a lot.”
Center Samantha Heck is the leader down low with 8.6 points per game. Amy Gallagher averages 8.4 points per game.
One of the areas that Bennett is working on with this team is to stay the course, especially late in a game.
“We need to pick up a win to see some tangible progress,” said Bennett. “We’ve been down to the last two or three minutes in several games, but haven’t quite been able to pull it out. I felt better about the Mercer game because we came from 16 down and cut that lead to one with the chance to go ahead. Even when they got back ahead of us a little bit we got their lead down to four with a minute left.”
Bennett worked with his players on their shooting skills Monday, especially on the need to make quick shots in pressure situations.
“We worked on what it is like when you have to score quickly because you are down some and don’t have enough time on the clock to play your normal game,” said Bennett. “We worked on getting quick layups and making kick outs for threes off of the pass instead of off of the dribble. We don’t want to be rushing ourselves in those situations. We need to work for key shots.”
One of Bennett’s primary concerns is the shooting of the Lady Bisons this season. Guard Jenna Bartsokas leads the team with 11.3 points per game and forward Valerie Bronson is averaging 9.6. Overall the Lady Bisons are shooting 35.5 percent from the field, 26.9 percent from the 3-point line.
“The mystery to me is that we have not shot the ball very well,” said Bennett. “Sunday our guards shot 250 times. The post players shot close to 200.
“We want them to try to start seeing the ball going through the basket. Our guards shot 69 percent on twos and 63 percent on threes just standing and shooting. We want to try to build some confidence there.”
Bennett plans to give sophomore Leah McAlister her fourth start of the season. Jenna Bartsokas and Anna Bowers will start in the back court. The forward spots will be Hannah Phillips and Brittany Duerk.
“We have to do a good job of keeping them from getting points in the post,” said Bennett. Blocking out and rebounding are always a challenge for us. We have been executing our man-offense pretty well. We have been taking care of the ball pretty good. We need to knock down a few shots to go with that.”