BELTON, Texas- A lack of rebounds, 16 turnovers and a lack of discipline defensively spelled the first loss of the season for the UMHB women’s basketball team on Sunday evening, as Trinity (TX) earned a 74-61 victory over the previously 1-0 Crusaders.
The Cru led at halftime, 31-28, and widened the margin to 10 points at the 6:45 mark of the third quarter, but failed to close it out over the final 15 minutes. Trinity mounted a 12-2 run midway through the third, tying the score at 42, and took a two-point lead on a Hailey Coleman free throw with 35 seconds remaining.
The Tigers only added to their lead in the fourth, opening the final quarter with six points in the span of 1:14. That gave Trinity a 57-49 advantage, as the Cru desperately tried to fight back, but to no avail, in the closing minutes of the contest.
“It was just straight up sloppy play and a lack of rebounding,” UMHB head coach Mark Morefield said postgame when asked about the third-quarter collapse. ”We’ve given up 63 free throws in two days and that’s just sloppy defense and not being committed to things defensively.”
Defensive discipline was something Morefield spoke of following the Cru’s narrow 73-72 win over Rhodes College on Saturday night. And it came into play again on Sunday.
Trinity tallied 32 points in the paint, 20 of those coming in the second half, and made up for shooting 19 percent from three-point range with 17 second-chance points. The Tigers added 16 offensive rebounds to UMHB’s 11.
“There’s no sets, there’s no adjustments you can make if you’re not going to rebound the ball,” Morefield noted.
Putting Trinity on the free-throw line was perhaps the biggest component in the loss, as the Tigers shot 32 free throws, converting on 24 of them. 10 of Trinity’s 23 fourth-quarter points came at the charity stripe, and both Kaitlyn Kollmorgen and Bethany McLeod had accumulated four fouls by the contest’s end.
“We’re putting ourselves in a bad position, [because] we’re putting teams on the line and it’s stopping the clock,” Morefield said. “It’s allowing them to get runs. We have to learn to be more disciplined.”
For the tough ending was a solid start from the Cru, whose first points came on a three-pointer from forward Ashley Faux. Faux finished with eight points, and the early 3-0 lead extended to 9-6 at the 4:16 mark of the first quarter, as Catherine Kaiser converted on a jumper in the paint.
The score was tied at 14 apiece by the opening period’s end, though a layup from Kollmorgen put UMHB back in front, 16-14, early in the second. That was a lead the Crusaders defended, leading by seven on an Arieona Rosborough layup with 3:47 to play in the first half.
While that lead eventually evaporated midway through the second half, it was a positive sign of UMHB’s offensive attack, as the Cru drove to the lane, and saw contributions from a variety of players. 10 different Crusaders scored in the game, led by Kollmorgen and Faux, who each tallied 10 points.
“We have to get the ball into the paint more, and we have to move the ball more,” Morefield said. “We’ve got to stop the one and two-pass pull up jumpers. I thought early on, we were getting great looks because we were moving the ball. But then we stop moving the ball, and we do, ‘one, two pass, quick shot’. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Improvements are set to be made on both ends of the floor in the coming weeks, as the team has 19 days before it faces its next opponent, Colorado College, in Colorado Springs on Nov. 26.
“We’ll definitely work,” Morefield said. “We’ll definitely correct this situation. There’s no doubt about that.”