Entering Memorial Gym the Lady Dons were enthusiastic, with high-fives among each other and an energy to fill many of the seats that are often unfilled at the women’s gamed. Of course at tip-off their game faces came on and the Lady Dons looked focused. Head Coach Jennifer Azzi started the girls with a zone defense that may have seemed impenetrable for the first two minutes of the game, but did not stand a chance against the three consecutive baskets nailed by the Lions. Jennifer soon called a timeout only three minutes into the game to designate a man-on-man defense. It was not until Whitney Daniels, 34, gave us our first basket that the game started to look hopeful, but the Lady Dons were only able to produce six more baskets in the first half.
This game produced memories of past games with similar struggles of shooting percentage, which was 32% in the first half of the game and 44% in the second half, and even our threes were not happening for us in this game. The Lions instead came out with a plan to attack the arc and sink down threes, which they comfortably did throughout the night. While the Dons had 11 turnovers in the first period, they redeemed themselves in the second period with more rebounds, steals, and shots made.
Heidi Anton came in and made a nice lay-up and sunk her free throws; she came into the game ready to score. Kelly Jo Mullaney, the leading scorer of the night, gave the team 12 points in the second half and great hustle the entire game. While the outside shots failed it was the lay ups and free throws, making 8 out of 10 free throws, which gave us 36 points in the 2nd half of the game.
Two nights later, the Dons battled Pepperdine in search of their first WCC victory of the season. Thankfully the Dons were able to come out victorious. With six consecutive loses behind them the Lady Dons were finally able to get a win. They scored 10 points within the first 5 minutes of the game and shot 44% this game. Vania Singleterry scored big with 15 points and Rheina Ale was 10-10 in her free throws, but also scoring 12 point right behind Kelly Jo Mullaney who contributed 14 points.
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