Luke Hare, Staff Writer
While the start of the season hasn’t gone how they expected record wise, the women’s basketball team look to start off conference play and winter break on a good note.
The Saints began the season with a win in their first game against Pacific Lutheran University, 71-63. The score looks a lot closer than the tone of the game, with the Saints having dominated for the first three quarters. However, the Lutes came back and made things interesting in the fourth quarter, but the Saints made important free throws down the stretch for a key first victory.
With the season still just beginning, the Saints have a lot of time to make corrections to improve their play. The Saints are averaging nearly 17 turnovers a game, which is something that decreases their number of shots, and adds extra shots for your opponent. With that being said, the Saints’ opponents aren’t much further off, thanks to SMU’s strong defensive skills. Another aspect that seems to be hurting the Saints is a low free-throw percentage, as well as shots from the floor. The Saints are only shooting 62.9 percent from the line, and 37.6 percent from the field. However, the Saints are doing well from the three-point arc, shooting a respectable 34.7 percent. Given the season is still young, the Saints look to turn this around as league play begins.
One of the most impressive performances came in that first game, when true freshman forward Claire Dingus put up a double-double in her first career game with the Saints. She went off against the Lutes and was unstoppable on the glass all game long. Dingus ended up finishing with 10 points and an outstanding total of 17 rebounds. In every game this year, Dingus has not had less than seven rebounds, which benefits the Saints massively.
Following this impressive performance was one that could be argued as even more impressive, from junior guard Makenna Schultz. In a game that will be in the record books against Dixie State, the Saints went into triple-overtime and scored the most points since 2002, with 103. A huge part of this came from Schultz, who dropped a career-high 37 points, including a ridiculous 7-10 from the three-point line.
Numbers never lie but looking at the Saints record could display a poor start. However, of the Saints’ four losses, two of those were by five points or less, and in their matchup against Colorado Mesa, they were trailing by only four points heading into the third quarter and by five points against University of Mary. A couple dropped shots here and there, and a few less turnovers could result in major improvement. This is a team that is exciting to watch, and when those shots start dropping, this could be a very dangerous team to play.