Dec. 28, 2011
Northwest looks to snap skid at Lincoln
By David Boyce
Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball coach Gene Steinmeyer pointed out a few weaknesses for each of his players to work on during Christmas break.
He also wanted the Bearcats to lift a few weights to stay strong or get stronger.
A lack of rebounding has been one reason behind a 2-9 start.
After the mandatory seven days off, the Bearcats returned to practice Tuesday. More than anything else, Steinmeyer wanted to see a renewed sense of determination that these Bearcats will not accept losing.
“Just because we went through a month and a half where we basically failed, we can’t say that’s the season,” Steinmeyer said. “We will not be defined by November and December. We will be defined by January and February.
“Unlike a lot of other sports, basketball is a little more forgiving. You can change the course of your season.”
The Bearcats only have three days of practice before the games begin again. Northwest, which is 0-4 in the MIAA, plays at Lincoln at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“Even though they only had six players last year and won only a handful of games, they had some really nice pieces in place and one was a post player,” Steinmeyer said. “They have surrounded her with some quick guards. They are a very good team.”
Lincoln is no longer a team opponents can view as a victory before the opening tip. The Blue Tigers are 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the MIAA.
While Steinmeyer and his coaching staff will use the next few days of practice to prepare specifically for Lincoln, the biggest focus is on Northwest.
The Bearcats must improve in rebounding and develop more scoring options. Northwest is relying too much on seniors Abby Henry and Shelly Martin for their scoring, Steinmeyer said.
“Whether it is Lincoln, Central, Washburn or whoever, those are two things we have to get better at if we are going to win ball games,” he said. “We just have an awful margin in rebounding. We get beat in overtime at Omaha and was outrebounded by 18.
“We hold Fort Hays to 65 points and at least a third of their points were off offensive rebounding. We have to find a way to be a better rebounding team. And we have to find a way to score some points.”
Despite the won-loss record, Steinmeyer remains hopeful that the Bearcats will turn it around.
“When you are 2-9, as a coach, you are searching,” he said. “Of our nine losses, two have been to Division I teams. All the Division II teams we’ve played, at the time, were either undefeated or had one loss.
“If you look at it positively, we haven’t been getting beat by a bunch of bad teams. On the sour side of things, we haven’t beaten those teams, either.”
Northwest is currently next to last in the MIAA. Three or four wins in the next two weeks and the Bearcats will quickly rise up in the standings.
“The big thing now is if we are going to make the MIAA Tournament, the teams we have to beat are coming up. Lincoln is one of those,” Steinmeyer said.
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