Women’s basketball focused on playing four quarters


Hannah Roberts

Brittany Martin (20) dribbles around Audrey Faber Sunday afternoon in Koch Arena.

Wichita State women’s basketball struggled for the first three quarters against UMKC Tuesday night, and trailed 44-32 at the end of the third.

Although the Shockers climbed all the way back in the fourth to tie the game at 54 in the closing seconds, WSU fell short to the Kangaroos 56-54 on a game-winning shot with 1.5 seconds left.

As WSU looks past its first loss of the season, the focus of the team is now playing the way it did in the fourth for the first three quarters of play.

“We improved in the fourth quarter,” junior guard Keke Thompson said. “We just have to do that in the first, second, and third quarter. We have to come out right intensity, right tempo and be a family on the court to get it done.”

WSU won its first game of the regular season Sunday against Creighton 62-54. The Shockers led at halftime 40-22, shooting 55 percent and forcing 11 Creighton turnovers.

The Bluejays came back to cut the WSU lead down to single digits, but the first half effort from the Shockers proved too much to overcome and allowed them to stroll away with an eight-point victory.

“We did our work early against Creighton, and that put us in a situation to win when they made a run,” head coach Jody Adams-Birch said. “We have to come ready the same way each and every day.”

The Shockers are looking to improve on its press break offense. UMKC implemented a half-court trap press defense that stifled the Shockers into committing 20 turnovers on Tuesday.

Creighton pressed the Shockers in the second half in order to cut the lead to single digits for a potential comeback. The press forced WSU to eight second-half turnovers and 16 total in its home-opening game.

“We have to be confident in ourselves,” freshman Kayla Williams said. “We have to be confident to attack and get something done. We can’t be scared.”

Adams-Birch said the mentality to improve starts in practices. When the players are willing to learn, her philosophy is they will be successful.

“When you get pressed, your mentality is to score a layup,” Adams-Birch said. “We have to change that attitude. When you take pride in your work, your mentality begins to change.”

WSU (1-1) travels to the University of Texas at Arlington on Sunday before going to Cancun, Mexico for the Cancun Challenge. The Shockers will play three games in three days in Cancun, starting with Purdue on Thursday.