Rivalry week proves arduous
At 2 p.m. on Jan. 18th in the Aggie Gym the Cameron women’s basketball team fell short in their match against Midwestern State University (MSU).
The 82-77 loss capped off their rivalry week against the Mustangs which resulted in two straight losses, one on the road and one at home.
The defeat comes in the face of a strong performance by sophomore guard Maighan Hedge, who for the second time in the span of three games achieved a career-high, scoring 32 points in this match.
The Aggies took an early lead in the first half. In the first quarter the team performed well, closely matching the Mustangs on the board both offensively and defensively.
MSU overtook the lead with the help of a series of successful free-throws by MSU. By the end of the first half the Mustangs would outscore the Aggies by 2 points.
The women came back in the third quarter with a strong performance outscoring the Mustangs by 4 points with the help of a couple of free throws delivered by Maighan Hedge. The Aggies attained a 2-point lead just before the start of the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter reflected the close competition between the two teams with three lead changes and multiple rallies that kept Cameron in the fight.
Unfortunately, the Aggies would eventually falter after hard fought competition which is the norm in the LSC close competition style.
In the end the Aggies were out rebounded by 14 points; a tough pill to swallow in a close game that could have been won with only three possessions.
Head coach Emma Andrews believes that defense needs to be the point of focus for the team at this point in the season.
“Fourteen points is a lot.” Andrews said. “If we keep giving up second chance points we’re going to be in trouble, it’s going to be a long year.”
Top scorer Maighan Hedge echoes that statement.
“I think we need to stop being an offensive minded team.” Hedge said. “I think we should shift our focus right now to defense.”
Hedge believes the entire team has the skills offensively to make the crucial baskets. But more work is needed by the young team to develop the defensive stopping power that will win games.
“Our defense should help create our offense rather than our offense creating our defense.” Hedge said.
“We need to focus more on our defense because we can score it, everyone on the team can score. But we need to stop it at the same time.” Hedge said.
“Like if we hit a three, we can’t let them go back and hit a three and that’s what we keep doing. So, we need to start focusing on defense first and let the offense come naturally.”
The rivalry game took place in front of a packed house. The north side of the gym was reserved for and filled up by over 600 Fort Sill Soldiers in honor of Military Appreciation Day.
The soldiers filled up the seats and filled in the atmosphere with thunderous support throughout the game.
Their support did not go unnoticed by anyone in the gym, including coach Andrews and the players.
“It was amazing to have the troops here.” Andrews said. “They were loud, they were into it and I wish we could have them here every day.”
“For me it was inspiring. I really appreciate what they do for the country and I appreciate them being here tonight. It was a good atmosphere and they were really good for the team.”
Maighan Hedge also said that the feeling from the soldiers was palpable.
“They were so loud tonight.” Hedge said. “It almost gives you goosebumps hearing a big crowd like that. It helped us get over the line at certain stages to get the run that we needed when we needed it.”