Women’s basketball snaps two-game losing streak with victory over ECU

The+womens+basketball+team+cheer+for+their+teammates+as+they+run+down+the+clock+against+East+Carolina.+The+Shockers+are+currently+2-2+in+their+conference+season.

Rachel Rudisill

The women’s basketball team cheer for their teammates as they run down the clock against East Carolina. The Shockers are currently 2-2 in their conference season.

The Wichita State women’s basketball team got an opportunity to redeem themselves after losing two straight games to East Carolina, including a 15-point loss last season. The Shockers reversed the scoreboard by beating the Pirates 70-55, while improving to 2-3 in conference play. 

“We played with passion tonight and we played as a team,” junior Jane Asinde said. 

The Shockers scored 41 points in the paint, which came from a combination of both the guards and post. Asinde’s quick thinking and points off of fast breaks played a major contribution as she led the Shockers with a team high of 21 points.  

Asinde’s ability to capitalize in the paint was an example of what made the Shockers hard to defend tonight, according to Head Coach Keitha Adams. 

“You know tonight you got two guards in double figures, you got two posts in double figures and so you’ve got great balance there,” Adams said. “I’ve always thought those are the hardest teams to play is when you got balance because if you don’t then you can really focus on hey shut this person down, shut their guards down, shut the post down shut them down so to have this balanced attack was great.” 

In a previous interview, senior Mariah McCully mentioned the third quarter is the Shockers’ “slump” quarter. In recent games, the team has struggled to put up points and score fast breaks.

“We have been struggling with our first five minutes of our third quarters, so tonight we went on an aggressive approach,”Adams said. 

Tonight, the Shockers knew they had to keep the same energy throughout the entire game allowing them to set the tone early with a 2-2-1 press.  

“Pressing teams don’t like to be pressed,” McCully said.

By constantly pressing ECU, Wichita State caused 21 turnovers. East Carolina is one of the top teams in the league to cause turnovers. In the first half, the Shockers had 12 turnovers but they quickly adapted to the Pirates’ plays and only allowed the Pirates to cause seven turnovers. 

In the past, the Shockers have struggled with their field goal shots–an average of 36.9%. To improve the low percentage, Adams had the Shockers perform a “doctors dish” at every practice. Each player throws 400 shots a day. It paid off, with the Shockers shooting 44.8% from the field and four players–Asinde, McCully, Asia Strong and DJ McCarty–scored in double figures. 

The Shockers have also practiced having patience with the ball. In the fourth quarter, Wichita State controlled the clock. Instead of making unnecessary shots, they controlled the ball and listened to the direction of Adams.

“We had the lead clocks on our side, so we do what we call motion 15,” Adams said. “Which means we’re gonna work that first 15 seconds down, and then go into some action to where we’re getting that shot in the ladder part of that 15.”

The Shockers made fast breaks when necessary and available, but they focused on slowing down and controlling the ball with those “fast 15” in order to close out the victory.

“Her (Adams’s) saying is, when you’re on the freeway, you go, but you’re in the school zone, you’ve got to slow down,” McCully said. “You can go 80 on the freeway and 20 in the school zone.”

Ending the night with 40 points in the paint, the Shockers will continue their conference season (2-3) against USF on Saturday Jan. 29 at the Charles Koch Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN+.