Sophomore guard Gracie Castaneda puts a shot up against WOU. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin
The Western women’s basketball team was victorious against the Western Oregon University Wolves in their Saturday, Jan. 12 home game in Sam Carver Gymnasium. Despite trailing behind the Wolves for the majority of the game, the Vikings managed to pull ahead in the third quarter, eventually winning with a final score of 73-61.
“We were definitely playing to win tonight, instead of just playing not to lose.” junior guard Lexie Bland said.
The Vikings had the hot hand, shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range, compared to the Wolves who shot 35.7 percent and 18.8 percent respectively.
More specifically, the tide was turned when sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers scored a 3-pointer, putting the Vikings into the lead for the first time during the game, where they stayed for the rest of the night.
“[Kelsey Roger’s] three really changed the momentum.” said freshman guard Avery Dykstra. “It was a huge shot.”
The Vikings’ bench far outperformed the Wolves’ bench by a margin of 40-7. They also outscored the Wolves in the paint by 42-24, and had double their points off turnovers.
“We were working really well together.” Dykstra said about the team flow and her six assists, “[My teammates] were easy to find.”
Both teams did well on the boards with the Wolves out-rebounding the Vikings 38-37. However, the Vikings managed to take better care of the ball, committing only 13 turnovers, compared to the Wolves’ 15.
“They kept their heads down a lot when they were driving.” Bland answered, when asked about the Vikings’ win and her three personal steals. “They weren’t really looking to pass.”
The Vikings’ ball movement was also stronger than the Wolves’ with the Vikings totalling 13 assists to the Wolves’ eight.
“We were more spread out.” Dykstra continued. “It made it easier to find each other…We were moving the ball a lot better, and our defense was more intense.”
This win puts the Vikings’ overall record at 9-5 for the year, and 4-2 in conference play this season. Many of the players mentioned that confidence was high going into this game, especially compared to the last, which they lost 70-62 on Friday, Jan. 10 to the Concordia University Cavaliers.
“The coaches have really been emphasizing the importance of going in confident and keeping the same mentality that you have during practice at the games.” said sophomore guard Emma Duff.
When asked if she had any one else to thank, Bland voiced her appreciation for everyone and their unique team contribution, as well as the bench and even the court for their energy. Duff thanked Anna Schwecke for her “unstoppable” defense.
“[Schwecke] shut down their post.” Duff explained. “She had the green light tonight and she was just killing it.”
The Vikings will be back out on the court Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. when they play the Seattle Pacific University Falcons in Seattle at the Royal Brougham Pavilion.
This game brief was updated with more information on Sunday, Jan. 13. For more coverage on Western athletics follow @WFSportsLive on Twitter.