3 things to watch for women’s basketball

  1. The team is hungry for more postseason wins.

The 2018-19 season saw the team beat Green Bay for the program’s first postseason win since 1996. The experience made the team, especially the three seniors, hungry for more. 

“We’ll sit and talk in the locker room,” senior Ali Poole said. “The freshmen will kind of hop in, and they’ve never done this before. We’re like ‘this is what happens and this is what we have to do next year.’ This is our last year, so we’re trying to get as much accomplished as we can.”

  1. Graduating seniors Alexa Golden and Merissa Barber-Smith left some large gaps that Starkey thinks will be filled.

The departing seniors led the team in rebounds last season, with Barber-Smith averaging 7.6 per game and Golden averaging 5.6. Golden also lead the team in assists and steals and was one of the teams’ top three-point shooters. 

“Those are sneaky big holes,” coach Todd Starkey said about the seniors departure. “(Alexa) wasn’t a flashy scorer or anything, but she was, in my opinion, the toughest and best leader in the league. Barber-Smith was the most dominant rebounder in the country last year per minutes played and had some huge rebounding games down the stretch for us. We’ve already felt (their departure) a little bit. But we’ve got returning players that are trying to fill some of those minutes and worked hard in the offseason to step up their game. And we’ve got some freshmen who are making everybody better because of their talent and their confidence.” 

  1. It’s a young team-but one with a lot of experience. 

More than half the team are underclassmen, with three freshmen and five sophomores. But four of the returning sophomores played in 30 or more games with Lindsey Thall and Asiah Dingle making the MAC All-Freshman Team. 

“We did get a lot of experience for our freshmen (last season),” Starkey said. “That type of experience for young players is invaluable but we also have three freshmen that have come in this year and have done some really nice things so it throws more youth into the lineup.”

The Flashes start their season on the road on Nov. 5 against Duquesne. 

Contact Gina Butkkovich at [email protected]