They just want to play Big Red basketball.
The women’s basketball team did in their game this past Wednesday, resulting in a 71-50 win over Hiram for the Big Red.
It was a much needed win for a Denison squad that was 0-2 in North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) competition coming into the game.
Using a slightly different starting lineup, where third-leading scorer Allison Schafer ‘20 came off the bench worked in this one for the Big Red. Fellow guard Lucy Bancone ‘19 took her spot and gave the team productive minutes with the starters.
Schafer led what was a strong bench unit in the win. The Big Red had 34 bench points to Hiram’s 15. Led by Schafer’s eight points, three rebounds, and three assists, the bench unit provided the scoring punch the Big Red needed. Zyah Beal ‘21, who pitched in 10 points off the bench, spoke about her mindset when coming off of the bench.
“Personally it’s about those opportunities that you get in every game. Every time I go into the game I mentally think what it is I need to do to benefit the team. Whether it is playing defense, scoring, or creating opportunities for other people to score. Energy and Effort are two of the most important qualities this team has. So everyone on the bench has to match the energy and the effort the starters give or else they won’t be on the court,” Beal said.
The team also showcased the tough, up-tempo defense that they’ve been known for over the past few years, alternating between zone-defense, man-defense, and a press. Sometimes, when a team drops back into zone, they have a tendency to rest and take plays off. This is not the case for this team, as they extend the top of the zone so high, that it only ups the pressure, and for ball handlers on opposing team, almost feels like man defense.
“For the past couple of weeks we’ve been working on tough on-ball defense. Making sure whenever anyone gets the ball we are in their face making it difficult for them to pass or even dribble. We do a good job of communicating with each other when it comes to defense and we do a great job of helping our teammates when our player doesn’t have the ball,” Beal said.
When looking forward to the rest of the season, Beal says they’re just looking to play their brand of basketball.
“This team has a lot of growth. We have such an amazing, talented group of women. We have been in the gym 24/7 working to get better…and we are. Our main focus is going to be playing Big Red basketball. We need to be more of a team. We must play with more confidence. I want other teams in our conference to fear us when we play them. We have it in us it’s just a matter of us going all in,” Beal said.
The team is back in action when they go on the road to take on Heidelberg on Wednesday, December 12.