By: Madi DeVries
After a shaky start to the 2019-2020 season, the Oilers’ women’s basketball team is hopeful their recent stretch is indicative of what’s next to come. Assistant coach, Caitlin Bamberger, thinks their early stretch of basketball helped them become a better team.
“We had a few bumps in the road against a few teams,” Bamberger said. “But they were all learning experiences.”
Now 10-7 overall, the team is 6-1 in conference play and coming off a four-game winning streak.
Learning experiences continue to be a key point in the Oilers’ team plan, as their roster is dominated by newcomers, and left with few returning and experienced players on the court.
The team did not let this stop them, however, as they still managed to face several national powerhouses in Ashland University, Grand Valley State University, and Nova Southeastern University (Fl.). Regardless of the losses to each of those teams, the scores and statistics show significant improvement in team skill and chemistry on the court. The final scores were 108-59, 88-63, and 70-63, respectively.
While those losses may affect the team’s record overall, it by no means determines their standings in conference play, which is what the Oilers are currently shifting their focus toward.
Bamberger states that their next upcoming games will be extremely important and a test of how their team has grown so far this season. The Oilers will be facing up against the current top three teams in the G-MAC, Walsh, Kentucky Wesleyan, and Malone, in three straight games. Bamberger is hopeful that the Oiler faithful will be out in full force at Niekamp Arena, with all three games being at home.
“Luckily, we get three of the next four games at home,” said Bamberger.
A player to watch at the upcoming games will be sophomore standout Sydney Kin, who was recently named G-MAC player of the week during the week of December 31st through January 6th. Kin is currently shooting over 80% from the free-throw line and is leading the team with points per game, averaging over 15.
Bamberger added that the team has been playing extremely well all around and that the women are starting to turn the corner with the understanding of the offensive and defensive principles that the coaches are trying to implement.
Bamberger, along with others, is happy with the current stretch of ball the team has been playing but also understands that they need to keep it going.
“[I hope the team and staff can] ride that energy through the final stretch of the season,” said Bamberger.
The Lady Oilers next play tomorrow, Jan.18 against Walsh at 1 p.m. in Niekamp Arena.