Women’s Basketball Coach’s Clipboard: An NCAA Tournament rematch begins conference play for the Cru

Conference play has finally arrived for the UMHB women’s basketball team, and will begin this Thursday in Richardson, Texas. The team has momentum coming off a huge exhibition win over North American University last weekend, and looks prepared with conference action ready to get underway. We caught up with head coach Mark Morefield, and previewed UMHB’s upcoming contests in this week’s “Coach’s Clipboard”.

Quotes from head coach Mark Morefield

On the unknowns of the future of the season and the NCAA Tournament: I think the one thing we’ve learned is to take it one week at a time. That is the best approach, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next week. We’ve really taken it in one week increments. Every week is a new opportunity to play, to practice. I know [taking it one week at a time] is an old cliche, but you sometimes talk to other coaches in your conference about other teams in conference [as you prepare], but this year the mindset that we have is ‘We’ll worry about that team when we get to that team’, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

On how he has prepared his team this season: “Probably in years past, we’re doing a lot of preparation, and we’re still doing a lot of preparation, but I think the one thing is, we get caught up in the preparation and lose the focus of the team. I think our mindset this year is ‘Let’s continue to get better and do what we do. Let’s be prepared to play, understand what we want to do offensively and defensively for each game, but put more of a concentration on doing what we do.'”

On starting conference play against UT Dallas, which was recently upset by Howard Payne: “Listen you can’t look at what one game has done. You can’t look at the UTD-Howard Payne game, because, at the end of the day, we’re everyone’s big game. Everyone wants to beat Mary Hardin-Baylor. That’s just going to amplify itself even more. We can look at that [UTD-HPU] game and say, ‘Oh man, that’s a tough loss for them’. But on the same token, they’re going to be amped up, they’re going to be ready to play us.”

Projected Starting Lineup

G- Brooke Elliot, Senior- 6.8 PPG, 2.6 APG, 4.2 RPG

G- Bethany McLeod, Junior- 5.8 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.6 RPG

G- Alexia Martin, Junior- 6.3 PPG, 2.0 APG, 2.5 RPG

F- Hannah Eggleston, Sophomore- 5.2 PPG. 2.2 APG, 6.2 RPG

P- Taylor Kollmorgen, Graduate Student- 9.8 PPG, 0.4 APG, 9.0 RPG

Notes:

  • Senior point guard Madison McCoy is questionable for both of this week’s contests. She did not see the court in non-conference play due to a knee injury, and is now sidelined with an ankle sprain, Morefield said Tuesday.

About the Opponent: UT Dallas

Date: January 7

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Place: Richardson, Texas

Watch: https://utdcomets.com/watch/?Live=1998&type=Live

Notes:

  • UT Dallas is 4-1 on the season, having won three straight before the break at the Darenne Memorial Classic in Birmingham, Alabama. However, the Comets were upset by ASC opponent Howard Payne last Saturday, 69-68, in non-conference play. (See above quote from Morefield)
  • The Comets lost starting guard Victoria Pena following last season. Pena was a consistent scorer who averaged over 14 points per game in 2019-20. However, they bring back a talented lineup headlined by Raenett Hughes, the team’s leading scorer last year, who has started the season by averaging 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
  • This will be a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament second-round matchup between UTD and UMHB this past March. In that contest, the Cru defeated a very good Comets team 64-48, to advance to the Sectionals Round of the tournament.

About the Opponent: Ozarks

Date: January 9

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Place: Clarksville, Arkansas

Watch: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ozarks/

Notes:

  • Ozarks opted to not play a single non-conference game this season, meaning the Eagles will tip off the season Thursday against Concordia. When asked about preparing for an opponent that hasn’t yet played this season, Morefield likened it to the way he and his staff prepare for an opponent at the beginning of the season. “It becomes more about what they have done from an offensive standpoint, from a defensive standpoint. You’re looking more from a schematic sense than you are from a player personnel sense,” said Morefield.
  • During the Morefield era, the Cru are 4-1 against Ozarks, having won the last three contests between the two.
  • The Eagles return nearly every member of their 2019-20 squad, including leading scorer Kerigan Bradshaw who averaged 12.0 points per game one season ago.

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