Women’s basketball sees best start since 2015 season

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Women’s basketball sees best start since 2015 season

Hanson Lee, Sports Editor

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Classes are back in full swing for Winter quarter and so is women’s basketball as the Wildcats are already nearing the midway point of their 2019 season. The team currently boasts an overall record of 8-3 with a GNAC record of 3-1, their latest win coming on Saturday, January 5 against GNAC competition Concordia University.

“We’ve been learning from every game,” said head coach Randi Richardson “In each game, our team has done a great job of being self-reflective and figuring out ways where we can continue to be better.”

Richardson noted that offensively, the team has been able to find a solid rhythm together as a unit and that on the defensive end, the team needs to work on maintaining consistency day in and day out.

Junior guard Alexis Pana has been a key ingredient when it’s come to the Wildcat playbook so far this season. Pana leads the Wildcats in scoring, assists and steals, averaging 14.5 points per game, totaling 60 assists and 22 steals on the season thus far. Pana has also shown considerable improvement beyond the arc, shooting 48 percent from three point range out of her 46 total attempts on the season.

“A big thing from freshman year that I struggled with, and still a little bit last year, was my confidence,” Pana said. “Being able to see what I was able to do and see what other people see in me is a big thing that helped me out this year.”

One of the unique strengths for the team this year has been the fact that everybody on the team works just as well off the court as they do on the court. For Pana and her teammates, it’s all about having that next play mentality and keeping a high level of focus through the game’s ups and downs.

“When things get rough and things get down, we do a better job of coming together,” Pana said.

Senior guard Sadie Mensing is one of only two senior Wildcats this season and is the only senior in the starting lineup. Mensing is currently averaging x points per game for the Wildcats while totaling x assists on the year.

“This is one of the better starts we’ve had and I think it’s really come a lot from how well we’ve been playing together and how much we share the ball,” Mensing said.

As a senior, Mensing is preparing to have an even greater impact on her team this season, both offensively and defensively. Mensing expressed that as one of the lone seniors on the team, it’s imperative for herself to use her experience to lead by example on and off the court in front of her fellow teammates.

Up next, the Wildcats will prepare for a four-game homestand with conference opponents Saint Martin’s University (SMU), Seattle Pacific University (SPU), Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) and Montana State University Billings (MSUB) all coming to town. With an impressive home court record of 4-1 this season, the team will look to stay locked in at Nicholson Pavilion.

“Whether we’re playing home or away, a conference game is big time,” Richardson said. “Each team has 100% of our focus because that’s what each team in the GNAC deserves.”