The week ended on a positive note for the women’s basketball team as the team picked up its first win of the season.
The Bulldogs and the Wisconsin Parkside Rangers faced off Saturday for a second game this weekend. After coming short of winning at a very close game on Friday with a score of 86-82, these two teams rematched Saturday afternoon for another close one. The Bulldogs fought to the finish, winning 91-89.
“These kids, they absolutely fought their butts off today, especially in that second half.” said Coach Kurt Westendorp.
The Bulldogs took what they had learned from their loss Friday and came back with a new plan. After the first game, the team needed to make adjustments to earn that elusive first win of the season.
“We had to mix up our defenses a little bit. Playing back-to-back games, we knew we had to mix things up on the offensive end too.” said Westendorp.
After the first period, the Bulldogs were up 16-14. The Bulldogs fell behind in the second and Maddy Harrison from Parkside shot a three-pointer right off the bat.
The Bulldogs were pushed around quite a bit during the second and Parkside quickly took the lead. They were ahead 47-33 at the half. “It wasn’t a great first half for us, we had some ups and downs and we did not feel like we were fighting like we are capable of,” said Westendorp.
During halftime, Westendorp explained how the team adjusted for the second half.
“We didn’t really talk any x’s or o’s, we just said we have to come out and absolutely fight like hell for 20 minutes,” said Westendorp. “It’s going to show a lot about our character how we come out.”
After the half, the Bulldogs regrouped stronger than ever and were more aggressive. “It was just a full team effort,” said Westendorp. “We blew the doors off the place in that third quarter.” With a new spring in their step, these players quickly caught up and got the lead. After the third period the score was 68-62
Sophomore Guard Mallory McCartney stood out in the second half, shooting multiple three-pointers, one of which was right before the buzzer at the end of the third period. She scored 25 points during the game, had one rebound and three assists. In the second half “She was in rhythm.” said Westendorp.
Finally, in the fourth, the Bulldogs were able to keep the lead and were awarded a few freshmen guard Kadyn Blanchard also stood out, scoring a total of 39 points, had 10 rebounds and 7 assists. McCartney and Blanchard worked well together and Westendorp predicts that in the future they will be even more of a tough duo.
“I’m just really proud of them and of the way they battled back and faced that adversity,” said Westendorp. “This is a huge win, it will give us a little momentum, a little belief and this team will start to see what they can do together.”
The Bulldogs will play again Saturday, Jan. 23 at Northern Michigan University.