The Lady Jets are 3-1 on the season after defeating York College on Saturday, Nov. 21, 78-43. The Lady Jets won handily over York, shooting 29-of-72 from the field and 15-of-18 from the free throw line.
This win was more than a little confidence booster after a tight battle with Washburn University on Nov. 18 that ended with the Lady Jets losing 46-58. Women’s Head Basketball Coach Darin Spence said that while they lost the Washburn game, they still got a lot out of it.
“All in all, much to feel good about, with a few concerns that we will improve on,” Spence said. “Great atmosphere there and a fun environment… I hope we can make our home court as tough a place for visitors, so we need all our NU fans to join us.”
Washburn went 20-of-52 from the field, while the Lady Jets went 12-of-55.
Spence said shots were not falling due to a combination of nerves, the atmosphere, and just playing a real good team.
“I thought we competed well and fought all game,” he said. “We got good shots, open shots, but just missed them.”
Earlier in the month, the Lady Jets defeated two teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) with strong second half shooting.
On Nov. 13, The Lady Jets defeated Regis College in Denver, 75-53, outscoring them 50-27 in the second half after trailing by one point in the first half. The next day, they took on UC Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs and pushed ahead in the final quarter to put UCCS away, 71-64.
Spence said these games, which do not count as NCAA games, were a great opportunity to play good opponents and learn more about the team, regardless of the outcomes.
“The altitude in Denver is a killer and even more so in Colorado Springs,” he said. “There were stretches where our players looked like they were running in mud, which allowed us to use our quality depth.”
Spence said that the glue that holds the team together is the five returning players: Brianna Caldwell (junior), Kesha Buckner (senior), Lizzy Harrison (senior), Mali Wright (junior), and Cierra Tjaden (junior).
“They have learned and gained valuable experience, as well as being invested in what is good for the Newman Women’s Basketball Program,” he said. “These five played valuable minutes for us… and will be leaned on heavily this season.”
Other players who have played key roles in the season so far are Shaunice Robinson (senior), Erica Olerich (junior), and Natalia Hausmann (junior), who have put up a combined 112 points for the Lady Jets. Robinson scored 62 points on her own this season and also leads the Lady Jets in free throws and steals.
The Lady Jets will travel to Fort Hays State on Tuesday, Nov. 24 to take on the Tigers at 5:30 p.m.
“We do have another very tough non-conference schedule, so we will need to keep fighting together and pulling for one another, he said. “This team can do it.”