Second half meltdown dooms SVSU
November 23, 2009 —
For one half, it looked as if the Cardinals were going to start off the season 2-0.
SVSU played the University of Indianapolis tough for a half, although eventually dropped the contest by a score of 77-59.
For most programs, there isn’t a whole lot of significance to starting a season 2-0. Last season, the Cardinals didn’t record their second win of the season until Feb. 10, meaning a 2-0 start could have been monumental in the Cards’ rebuilding process. Instead, they will have to settle for hanging in there for the majority of the game against a tough opponent.
After the first half, the Cardinals trailed 33-30 while both offenses struggled to get into any type of rhythm. The Greyhounds shot 40 percent from the floor, including 16 percent from beyond the arc, while the Cards’ were even worse at 35 percent from the floor. The second half was much of the same for the Cardinals, although the defense had no answer for the hot shooting of the Greyhounds during the half.
Indianapolis came out and scored 11 of the first 15 points in the second half, giving them the first double-digit advantage either team had for the game. It was a lead they continued to build on as the game progressed.
The Greyhound offense exploded in the second half by shooting 52 percent from the floor, including 57 percent from three-point range, which allowed them to outscore the Cardinals 44-29.
An aspect SVSU struggled in during head coach Shannon Baugh’s first season was rebounding. In the Cards’ opening season win against Urbana University, the Cardinals held a 37- 29 rebounding advantage. As a result, the Cards’ were able to score 74 points.
Against the Greyhounds, the Cardinals managed to out-rebound them 43-40, although they weren’t able to capitalize on their second chances. Throughout the preseason, rebounding has been one part of the game that Baugh has emphasized.
“To be a good rebounder, you have to have the will to go up and come down with the ball,” Baugh said. “Rebounding has been something that we work on a great deal each and every practice. I expect that we will continue to improve on the way that we rebounded last season.”
Leading the way offensively for the Cardinals was junior forward Rhonda Gusa who had 14 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes of action. She finished 6-11 shooting from the floor.
Another positive the Cardinals can take away from the loss is their free throw shooting. Last season, SVSU shot just 65 percent from the line; something that Baugh admitted, “had to be improved.”
Against Indianapolis, the Cards’ went 9-11 from the stripe, converting on nearly 82 percent of their chances.
“Free throw shooting is something that we have to do a much better job of executing,” Baugh said. “In close games, it can be the difference between winning and losing. It will be something that we continue to practice on a regular basis.”
Indianapolis improved to 2-0 with the win, while the Cardinals fell to 1-1. SVSU hopes to get back on the winning track when they travel to Lewis University for their first road game of the season on Saturday.