Fifty has a nice ring to it; 50 states, 50 cents, 50 years and 50 points scored in the second half for Missouri Western women’s basketball. After a slow start, which saw the Griffons looking at a 28-35 halftime deficit, they exploded for 50 points en route to a 78-64 win over Southwest Baptist.
Head coach Rob Edmisson was not very pleased with his team in the first half, and while he did not go into details on what was said at halftime, the girls came out of the locker room on fire.
“We discussed it at halftime,” Edmisson said with a smile. “Yes, we discussed it at halftime, and they came out and erased that seven-point deficit in about a minute-forty and responded really well.”
Missouri Western shot a very efficient 58 percent from the field in the second half, including 5-8 from behind the three-point line. Leading the way for the Griffons was junior Katrina Roenfeldt who scored 23 points, her fourth 20-point game out of the last five. Much like the rest of her team, Roenfeldt had a poor shooting first half, only going 2-9 from the field. She got things going in the second half, and also recorded 10 rebounds in the game.
Senior Jessica Davies added 17 points, but knew that defense would be the key to the game while they tried to find their rhythm offensively.
“My main focus, coming into today, was defense,” Davies said. “We knew coming out we were going to need to play defense, take our time and run our stuff. That’s something we have been struggling with on offense in the first half.”
The only player that did not seem to be phased by the rough start was junior Anastacia Johnson who scored a career high 16 points on only seven shots. Johnson’s previous career high was nine points earlier this year. Johnson was not only getting it done on offense, but she added seven steals on defense. Turning defense into offense really got her going early, and she carried it throughout the entire game.
“I think this game is something that I needed,” Johnson said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit to find my rhythm, but I was glad to contribute to the team. This boosted my confidence in myself. I had a really good week at practice, and I just took that game, and it turned out well.”
Coach Edmisson was excited for Johnson, not only for this game, but what she could potentially do moving forward.
“I think this was her breakout game,” Edmisson said. “She was really good, really good. That’s the kid I thought we would have. If we have her the rest of year, it’s going to help us and evolves into what she is going to be next year. When she can go out and guard like that and create offense off turnovers and steals, she’s so quick to the basket. She’s going to be really good.”
With only four games remaining before the conference tournament, Edmisson is very high on his team and what they can accomplish in the final weeks.
“There’s a lot of teams this time of year that have plateaued, some start declining, and then there are a few teams out there yet to play their best basketball,” Edmisson said. “I think we fall in that last category.”