by GEOFFREY CARLISLE JR.
On Jan. 25, the UMW women’s basketball team pulled out another win, beating Salisbury University 71–47. This win comes just under a month away from the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, which runs from Feb. 22–24.
The team played a great game, staying ahead by at least two points throughout all four quarters, and Head Coach Deena Applebury has played a large role in the team’s success and strategy.
“We just want to try to make sure we’re controlling the tempo and being consistent with ball movement,” said Applebury. “And, again, just trying to get everybody involved, having everybody be an offensive threat and keeping everybody and putting people in situations where they can get good shots—and hopefully high percentage shots.”
This philosophy came to fruition when 10 out of the 12 players on the roster scored points during Wednesday night’s game.
Mary Washington got out to a strong start, ending the first quarter 18–11. The Eagles continued to expand the gap during the second quarter with a score of 39–20 by the time they reached halftime.
Jordan Carpenter, a senior cybersecurity major, put up 11 points in the first half and finished the game with 21 points total. As the star player on Wednesday night, she spoke about the dynamic with the other players on the court and how they prepared for the game.
“We knew our first conference game was going to be scrappy,” she said. “Everybody’s trying to get a win, especially with the size of our conference, so we were prepared for it. We worked on it all week, and we knew it was coming.”
Megan Baxter, a junior biochemistry major, finished the game with 13 points. In addition to her successful offensive skills, she also defended the net from a potential 3-pointer from Salisbury, according to the UMW Athletics website.
Baxter has had a momentous season thus far, as she scored all of UMW’s three-point shots in the game against Christopher Newport University on Jan. 31. She talked about her efforts to improve her outside shooting.
“The beginning of this year wasn’t necessarily my greatest. I wasn’t doing so well in it, so I started going into the gym a little bit early before practice, and I think it’s reflected in the games and just built up my confidence,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t think I became a better shooter, but I think I just got a little bit more confident.”
Salisbury never scored more than 14 points in one quarter, and 35 of UMW’s points were scored from Salisbury’s turnovers.
Applebury explained her plans for gameplay that helped lead the team to a win.
“We definitely want to pick up the tempo, and part of that is by pressing,” she said. “If we can get up early and get people to turn the ball over, that can help us coming down the stretch for sure.”
Carpenter highlighted the team’s efforts and explained that working as a unit is their main focus.
She said, “We have talked a lot about keeping our energy high, making sure we play as a team. So just making sure we do the little things so that we finish the game how we want to.”
“When we play as a team and we’re on the same wave and we’re working together, we play our best basketball,” she continued.On Feb. 7, the team will compete on their home court against Christopher Newport University. While there aren’t enough games left in the season for the Eagles to take the number one spot from the 21–1 CNU Captains, a win over CNU could be the motivation these Eagles need going into the Coast-to-Coast Athletic conference.