WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES THEIR GREAT SEASON
The University of Puget Sound Women’s basketball team is ranked 22 in the nation with a 18-3 record with four games left in the season.
In the previous week they beat Pacific Lutheran University, Pacific (Ore.) and Willamette all on the road. The Logger’s finish their five game road trip with Linfield and Lewis & Clark on the Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 respectively.
The last two games of the regular season are at home against Whitman on Feb. 20 and Whitworth on Feb. 21. Whitworth is responsible for one of Puget Sound’s three losses.
All three loses in the season came to conference opponents George-Fox and Whitworth. According to d3hoops.com George-Fox is ranked fourth in the nation and Whitworth is ranked 17.
“We have to play better at the end of the games. In the two close games that we lost, we got back on our heels a little bit and played little passive and lost our composer. For a veteran team that has that experience, we should be better in the last five minutes of the game,” Women’s basketball Head Coach Loree Paynee said.
Puget Sound is third in the North West Conference standings behind George-Fox by three games and Whitworth by one game. Whitman is fourth in the standings behind Puget Sound.
At the end of the regular season, the top four teams in the North West Conference play in a conference tournament. The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA national tournament.
There are at-large bids for teams that do not win a conference tournament, but those bids are not guaranteed to the teams in the North West Conference.
“One goal we have had since the start of the season was to win the Northwest Conference Tournament. In order to do this we have to continue to play pressure defense and work as a team to create open shots on offense. I think we play our best basketball when everyone is having fun on the court and playing together,” Junior Forward Allie Wyszynski (Sammamish, Wash) said.
The Loggers are playing stifling defense this season averaging teams to 57.7 points per a game and 36% shooting from the field. Coach
Paynee likes to vary the team’s defense between man, press and zone.
They are grabbing an average of 42 rebounds per a game. 29.4 of those rebounds are defensive. The rest (12.6) of those rebounds are offensive. Coach Paynee believes that the offensive rebounds are an integral part of the team’s offense.
In 21 games this season, the Loggers are averaging 70.2 points per gameå while shooting 42.3% from the field. Senior Forward Amanda Forshay (Moraga, Cali) is the second leading scorer on the team with 13.5 points per a game. Forshay recorded her fifth double-double of the season against Willamette on Feb. 7 with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
There are a total of six seniors and nine upper-classmen on the basketball team. Coach Paynee attributes the team success to the experience and leadership of the senior class.
“We still have four games left. We would love very much to win the rest of our conference games, which would include two teams ranked in the top four of our conference. Beyond that we would be very happy to go to conference tournament,” Forshay said.
Senior Guard Katie Ainslie (Redmond, Wash) was recently named to the Capital One Division III All-Academic team. Ainslie 12.7 points per a game and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Junior Guard Emily Sheldon (Portland, Ore) is leading all scorers on the team with 13.7 points per a game.