The ORU women’s basketball team played another solid game defensively against Northwestern State on their way to a 62-51 win.
ORU is now 4-3 in Southland play and 5-12 overall.
The Golden Eagles held Northwestern State to only 26.2 percent shooting for the whole game. Head Coach Misti Cussen said after the game that the team’s experience has helped make their defense better.
“We’re getting to that point more and more where we can commit to what we like to do with our zone… It’s becoming more instinctive instead of robotic for our new players. There’s a little bit more fluidity”
Detti Balla led ORU with 19 points, a season high for her, and eight rebounds.
Christian Key had 13 points in the first half but only took three shots in the second half. After the game, Coach Cussen said Northwestern State played more man defense in the second half preventing Key from getting open as much.
Kaylan Mayberry had six assists, giving her 13 combined in the last two games. Mayberry had 20 total for the season before Thursday’s game against Stephen F. Austin.
At one point in the second half, Cussen had Sarah Shelton and Detti Balla on the floor at the same time, creating a ‘big’ formation. In previous games, ORU hasn’t been able to do this because of foul trouble.
“We want to play two bigs together,” Cussen said. “I’d love to play a combination of Detti, Sarah and Carolina [Lopez] together all the time just because we’ve got them… It makes a difference for us rebounding… And those girls are starting to look for each other as well. We definitely want to do that as much as we can.”
Cussen said she feels like the only thing still holding the team back is a lack of consistency at times.
“We are capable every night out,” Cussen said. “Our inconsistency is kind of our last big hurdle we have to overcome. They take the gym expecting to [win] every day in the practice gym.”
ORU now heads on another road trip for their next two games. The Golden Eagles will have to find a way to win on the road, having gone 0-9 in away games so far.
The first game comes on Thursday against Nicholls State. The Colonels are currently tied with ORU at 4-3.