With two games left in the season and a 12-16 record, the women’s basketball team has begun preparing for the Crossroads League Tournament, just a week away. I asked their coach to reflect on the season.

Q: From a coach’s perspective, what are your thoughts on the season so far?

A: This season has been such a wonderful adventure. Blending the combination of seasoned veterans with new and young talent has been a refreshing formula for success for us. We have truly had some exciting highs and frustrating lows, but that is what makes it interesting and keeps us pushing to get better every day. This group has competed with and upset some of the best teams in the NAIA, and it’s really exciting to know that when we put it all together, we can beat anyone.

Q: What are the team’s biggest strengths this season?

A: The culture and connections with this group of players has been special. They have a really strong chemistry and it makes for a truly coachable group. On the court, we have shown that our rebounding has been a consistent strength, and what is most improved this season for the squad BY FAR has been our team defense. 

Q: What are the biggest challenges that the team has faced this season? 

A: The biggest challenges that we have faced this season have been centered around getting our young talent the experience they need, and blending it with the veterans so that we can win consistently. We have been a team that is “consistently inconsistent.” When we put four quarters of offense & defense together on the same day, we are unstoppable. But we have had some days when we are playing defense well but the offense isn’t there, and vice versa. Down the stretch, we have been playing really well and we look to carry that momentum into the final week and Crossroads League Tournament next week. 

Q: What have been the team’s biggest successes this season?

A: On the court, our greatest achievements so far have been sweeping Mount Vernon Nazarene University and upsetting them on the road, the upset win at Taylor University, and the home upset of # 11 Indiana Wesleyan, followed by taking # 5 Marian University to the wire before dropping in the final possession. We have competed with 9 teams ranked in the top 20 in the NAIA, and it has prepared us to win against high level competition. 

Q: How is the team preparing for the conference tournament? 

A: Heading into the tournament, we are simply trying to be playing our best basketball of the year. We want to carry some excitement and energy with us as we head into the week. We will be very familiar with our opponent, so we will focus on reviewing the game plan and keeping the daily prep exactly what we are used to. We don’t know who we will play yet, but we will be ready on Saturday to get ready for whomever we will see. We feel we can upset any of the teams we run into next week and are ready and excited for the opportunity.

The women’s basketball team will compete against Bethel University on Saturday before the Crossroads League Tournament kicks off on Tuesday, Feb. 22.