North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball struggles on offensive end

Women’s basketball struggles on offensive end

Women’s basketball struggles on offensive end
January 22
00:09 2015

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

North Texas women’s basketball coach Mike Petersen picks up a basketball off the rack and shoots it before practice, hearing the satisfying swoosh as it goes in. He is doing something that his team cannot: making baskets.

The North Texas women have shot 34.1 percent from the field so far this season. That is last in Conference USA and part of the reason for the team’s 2-14 start.

“Our problem is making shots,” Petersen said. “We don’t have an execution problem and we don’t have a share the ball problem. We just simply cannot make shots right now.”

For the majority of his career, Petersen has coached fairly respectable shooting teams. In his final season at Wake Forest University in 2011, Petersen’s team shot 40 percent from the field and averaged almost 70 points per game. That’s a far cry from this year’s team, which is struggling to score 50 points per game.

“All good shooters have developed good habits,” Petersen said. “Part of what we are trying to do is teach and coach good habits. That will contribute to consistency.”

The Mean Green is also last in C-USA in points per game, free throw percentage and three-point percentage.

“When you’re making your shots, the world is a wonderful place and when you’re not, everything sucks,” Petersen said. “Basketball is a make or miss game, and right now, we’re missing more than we’re making.”

The team has been working on techniques to help put the ball in the basket.  In a recent practice, the team spent half an hour  working on pick-and-roll drills that, when executed properly, should result in easy baskets.

“We’ve added some ball screens and pick and rolls,” senior guard BreAnna Dawkins said. “Every day at practice we work on our mid-range game and try to improve.”

Petersen said  despite the offensive struggles, he has been impressed with how his team has responded on the defensive end.

“Defense is nothing but hard work, listening to coaching and staying with the plan. It’s human nature for players to get frustrated when their shots aren’t falling,” he said. “Players get excited when they see the ball go in the basket. This team refuses to quit and that is evident in our defense. We’re on pace to set a school record for points allowed.”

Dawkins said the team has worked hard on the defensive end of the floor, and if the offense gets better they can improve the record.

“I think part of the reason we’re so good on defense is because we worked on it a lot this summer. Obviously now we want to get better at offense and try to win games,” Dawkins said.

Senior forward Briesha Wynn said one of the problems with the Mean Green offense is actually something that may not be perceived as a problem. She said the team might be passing too much.

“I think part of the reason we’re struggling right now is we have a lot of unselfish players,” Wynn said. “Sometimes we make one too many passes and miss the open shot.”

Wynn said the team is still close-knit despite the struggles, and chemistry is not the reason for the poor record.

“I don’t think chemistry is an issue at all. All of us are extremely close both on and off the court,” Wynn said. “There are really good relationships between players and coaches.”

Petersen said while the team has started very slow, there is a way it can pick it up.

“If we make our shots, we will win games” Petersen said.

Featured Image: Sophomore guard Terra Ellison drives toward the bucket during practice yesterday in the basketball facility. Photo by Ryan Vance – Senior Staff Photographer

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