Women’s basketball drops fourth straight game

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Photo: Sydney Ciardi

Katie Beckmann during a basketball game.

By Tyler Foy, Sports Editor

The fourth time proved not to be the charm for the women’s basketball team on Tuesday, as they fell to Brandeis University in a defeat full of sloppy defense, turnovers, and missed opportunities.

The Lions fell 75-53 to the Judges in a game that never felt close, the fourth straight game the women’s basketball team has dropped since their season tipped off on Nov. 6. 

Head coach Bill Gould said the start of this season is less about results and more about improving on the team’s skills.

“This whole first semester, the preparation is going to be about us less about the other team,” Gould said in a post-game interview. “I told the team already, if we go 15-0 in non-conference and then go 0-10 in conference, then you stunk. If it’s the opposite, if we go 0-15 and then go 10-0, we had a great year.”

Brandeis proved to be a challenge for the Lions, who knew they were up against a skilled team heading into the game. Junior guard Chelsea Gibbons said she was confident her fellow Lions would be able to rise to the occasion. 

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“We knew that they were going to be good, but we thought they were definitely beatable,” Gibbons said after the game.

The Lions won the tip but then quickly turned the ball over––something the team would do nine more times than Brandeis over the course of the game. Gibbons would knock down a three on the team’s next possession—giving the Lions a 3-2 lead that proved to be their only one of the game. 

The Lions were playing unorganized basketball and Gibbons said that the team’s miscommunication impacted them on both ends of the court. 

 “We made up a defense for them and we watched film and we just didn’t execute the defense the way we wanted,” Gibbons said. “Then we tried to adjust it mid-game and it just didn’t work. We just couldn’t make that adjustment.”

The Judges would rip off a few runs throughout the quarter—building a 22-9 lead that Emerson was able to trim to 22-13 by the end of the quarter. Gould said the Judges’ leadership played a large role in their loss.

“They’re well disciplined, well coached, and a really veteran team,” Gould said. “They know how to do things and they’re a very good team.”

The second quarter was reflective of the first as the Lions would once again give up 22 points and only mustered 14 of their own. The Judges had a 15-zero run, but the lead could’ve been more devastating, as Emerson was able to put up two back-to-back threes in the last minute of the half to make it 44-27. 

Emerson was shooting 10 of 29—a measly 34 percent—and had 11 fouls at halftime. Down by 17, Gould said improving the defense in the second half was highlighted in the locker room. Coming back onto the floor, the Lions would hold up to the defensive side of the game but couldn’t do much more on offense.

In the second half of the game, the Lions would give up just 31 points, but mustered only 26 points of their own. Of the 53 points scored by Emerson, 27 came from behind the three point line. Gould said the team aimed to improve their 9 of 26 shooting from beyond the arc.

“We need to do a better job,” Gould said. “If we’re going to go nine for 26 which isn’t great. I mean, it’s not horrendous, but if you make a few more of those. And now all of a sudden, it’s a different game.”

Gibbons led the team in offense––putting up 13 points and scoring nine from the three-point line. She said this was a result of taking advantage of the lack of defense on the outside.

“I value it, but it’s not everything,” Gibbons said. “I tried to mix it up between threes and other shots, but I was just shooting the three because that was just more open today.”

Refining all areas of the game is the goal for the team and Gould said the development of their young core is the most important thing for the program’s future.

“We’re so young,” Gould said. “It’s about improvement. And even from the first half to the second half, we improved, we got better so I’m happy with that.”

Emerson’s women’s basketball team now moves to the UMass-Dartmouth tournament starting this Friday against Westfield State University. Gibbons is a co-captain of the team and said the main takeaway is to have a better performance to start the game.

“Today especially we didn’t come out as strong as we would like and then we couldn’t get out of that hole,” Gibbons said. “The message is just communicate more on defense and on offense, just execute the game plan and come out strong and don’t get down on ourselves.”