By Cristiana Votta
The women’s basketball team (1-1) looks to get back on track in its next two non-conference games this weekend. The first game will be a home-court advantage against Mount St. Mary’s (0-1) tonight at 7 p.m., followed by a game against in-state rival Princeton (1-0) on Tuesday.
Since their close loss in Alumni Gym against New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on Monday, the Broncs have been focusing on certain aspects of their game in order to ensure victory in their next two matches.
“We definitely need to come out stronger in the first half,” freshman forward Janine Loutzenhiser said. “I think knowing that we can’t take teams for granted is a huge part of it. We’ve realized it doesn’t matter where we are playing. We just need to come out strong and make sure the opponent doesn’t have a chance to come back or get a huge lead on us. I truly think that coming out strong and continuing to set the tone and pace is really important for us.”
Senior center Caitlin Bopp feels that if the Broncs play a complete game, they will be able to walk away with a victory on their home court.
“The number one thing we have to do is play an entire 40 minutes,” Bopp said. “In the past two games, our first half has been slow and lagging and we haven’t picked it up until the second half. Of course that’s great, but we have to push for an entire game. We have to play the way we know how to the whole game and not just when we are down.”
The Broncs defeated Stony Brook in their first game last Friday. Since then, the team has reflected on what they were lacking and what worked for them in their matchup against NJIT.
“Setting the tempo early on and running the ball up and down the court was really working for us,” Loutzenhiser said. “We did that a lot against Stony Brook. We pushed the ball up and down the court and we took a lot of shots. We really didn’t have a lot of that in our last game.”
The Broncs live by a simple motto when preparing for games.
“Before practice we say, ‘Let’s go out and get better every single day,’” Loutzenhiser said. “I think working toward that goal will really help our future success. Each player — as individuals as well as the team — will make improvements throughout the season. It will make it easier to come out with a positive result at the end of the day.”
The Broncs look to gain redemption and prove themselves in their next home game against Mount St. Mary’s.
“I know that tonight’s game is really important for us,” Loutzenhiser said. “We lost at home in our season opener so now we have a game that we can redeem ourselves in front of everyone. I think our biggest task is setting the tone. We really need to come out ready to play and make sure we win this home game.”
Although the result of the Broncs’ last home game against NJIT wasn’t the one they were looking for, the Broncs look to capitalize on playing at home.
“Being on our court with the home crowd and having our family and friends there makes it so much easier,” Bopp said. “I think we usually play better at home so that’s a really big plus heading into our next game. It really takes the pressure off of us. We know exactly what we have to do and being home creates a more relaxed atmosphere.”
With only two games into the season, the Broncs are still hopeful for positive results.
“Just seeing the first two games, you can’t base an entire season on that, but I am confident,” Bopp said. “We are still working out kinks and trying to get back into the motion of playing. We have a very long season ahead of us and we haven’t even started conference play yet.”