It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. An attitude shown to us by ORU Women’s basketball who created an excellent victory over North Dakota state on Thursday, and then fell short 70-77 to South Dakota State the following Saturday afternoon, Jan 13.
“I am extremely pleased at where we are at right now,” said Head Coach Misti Cussen regardless of the loss. “I think [this game is] a great measuring stick, we had an opportunity today that makes us excited to play them again.”
ORU came into the game in the third place slot for the league, after a preseason poll of number four. Saturday’s opponent SDSU sits in first, and South Dakota University in second.
The Jackrabbits walked into the Mabee Center Friday holding an over all record of 13-4, and ORU with 11-6. Since 2010-2011 seasons the Golden Eagles haven’t seemed able to find a victory over SDSU on home court.
Maya Mayberry put up a substantial amount of 3’s for the Golden Eagles, playing a full 37 minutes and capitalizing on shot chances. Mayberry is filling the shoes of her sister, as she currently holds the highest three-point shooting percentage in the league.
“Maya likes to create with the ball in her hands, she ended up going 3-7 and she probably would tell you she didn’t shoot well. But she ended up shooting over 50 percent today,” said Cussen. “The shots that she is looking for gives more of a variety, that we need to go along with Maria and Faith.”
Faith Ihim, who over the break was nominated for the CLASS Senior award, created 24 points during the game for a personal career high for her. Ten of which were taking in the third quarter alone.
“I was super proud of Faith, she had a monster game offensively today. We didn’t shoot the ball well from the free throw line,” said Cussen.
The Summit League looks bright for the Golden Eagles women team, now being 3-2 and playing a larger capacity than last year because of more healthy players.
When the chance to play the Jackrabbits again comes for the Golden Eagles at a more crucial time in the season, Ihim believes it will be a matter of putting emphasis on the team’s defense.
“[Just] knowing who their power scorers are. Sticking with them pulled away, we didn’t remember where they were going in crunch time,” said Ihim.
Conference play continues for the Golden Eagles this Wednesday evening against the South Dakota Coyotes at 7 p.m. at the Mabee Center.