With 30 forced turnovers, a strong defensive pull, and shooting better than 50% in the second half, the Griffon women turned a huge victory against their rival Northwest Missouri 78-57. It was Western’s seventh-straight victory in the series.
“30 turnovers is great to hear,” Melia Richardson said. “Coach says people don’t play defense like us.”
Richardson had a career high 14 points, while shooting 55.6% field .
“My role is to contain the person I’m guarding; like always.” Richardson said.
After the first half, the Griffons led by 20. Missouri Western did run into foul trouble in the game with 23 total fouls.
“I am very pleased with our kids,” Coach Rob Edmisson said, . “We had some foul trouble out there, which, you know, we could have easily done without. It is a team effort out there, and our defense was fantastic. Erin Anderson was huge off the bench. Not all about scoring, and we had some kids contributing really well. Bench had to give us a lift. They (Northwest) either made a basket or we turned it over, so I’m happy with what we could manage.”
The team as a whole was impressed with the way their defense performed.
“Did you see the bench step up? We were waiting for it for so many games and it definitely paid off.” Julia Torres said. “We always relate on our defense. I give it everything I got. I am more and more relaxed every game, knowing I am putting it all into my game.”
Western felt that they did a good job of shutting down Tonya Meyer of the Bearcats.
“Just another girl. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for that but yeah; I don’t get worried, I just do what I got to do,” Torres said.
Confidence in their ability to catch the win didn’t stifle heading into the big game. According to Edmisson, the game plan is always the same, and they have yet to reach their perfect game. But they’ll know it when they see it.
“Strategy really hasn’t changed for us,” Edmisson said. “We’re still trying to find our best game, though. It is really fun to coach these kids, and I believe that best game isn’t too far off. The strength of our team is our balance. When we’re balanced and sharing the ball we are good. They are a tough group, and for us this time around it was about settling in and making the shots. What we do in the game is what we do in practice, so that is good to see.”
Erin Anderson was excited to see Western score the win and more importantly, to be out there playing as well. Anderson is battling back from a hip flexor injury, and it’s been a tough job getting back into physical and mental shape and making it back out onto that court.
“It still hurts, but it feels good to be playing,” Anderson said. “The hip flexor is what I’ve been told is the injured part, so I’m going to stick with that. Beginning of the year is when this injury kind of started. Been a working effort all the time though, and it feels good to be playing.”
The Griffons believe in the “team first” concept and not about who leads the team in scoring.
“Not about how many points I score, or how many rebounds I can manage in a game,” Chelsea Dewey said. “It isn’t about me. It isn’t about one other person. I’m proud of the team, and we all came together to win. That’s what we do. That is our goal every single game. Got to get the win, which is exactly what we did today.”
Western takes off to face Lindenwood on Thursday, Feb. 2. The Griffons swept the series last season against the Lions–winning by two in St. Charles and followed that up with a 43-point victory at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
“We focus in on little things in practice and the games alike.” said Torres. “Malia and Dewey get us going as the leaders, hype us up and make us excited to get out there. This game was no different.”