No. 25 Wisconsin-Green Bay awaits CMU as the women’s basketball team travels to Green Bay at 3 p.m. on Saturday for a showdown of two potent offenses.
Head coach Sue Guevara said she’s pleased with the team’s overall play so far this season.
“I have been impressed with the way we’ve finished, the consistency and the speed we have played at,” Guevara said.
UW-GB’s national ranking ties the program’s earliest raking in school history and marks the sixth time in nine seasons and fourth consecutive season it has been ranked.
Guevara said that in order to defeat UW-GB, the team has to play strong offensively and attack the glass on defense.
“We’re going to have to slow down their transition and match their intensity, their versatility and also handle the crowd,” Guevara said. “There is going to be a lot of emotion. They are a team that is similar to us, and it’s going to be a good measuring stick game to see where we are in comparison to teams like us.”
UM-GB returns four of their top-five scorers from last season but lost their scoring, rebounding and assists leader from last season in Julie Wojta.
Last season, UW-GB outscored their opponents by an average of 19 points, and CMU sophomore guard Jessica Green, the reigning MAC West player of the week, said she knows the team must defend well in order to defeat UW-GB at Kress Events Center, where it finished 16-1 last season.
“We have to make sure we are rebounding and keeping their players in front of us,” Green said. “We need to work on getting back on defense and being very vocal. We have to play well on defense and not let them get anything easy. We can’t make them think just because they’re ranked 25th in the country that they can just win.”
Green said there are still some things the team can improve on moving forward.
“We need to work on talking more and stop getting down on ourselves when things go wrong,” Green said. “Rebounding is also something we need to improve on, but the biggest thing is our transition defense.”
In the opening weekend, Green led the Chippewas in scoring, chipping in with 15 points in their win over Bradley and scoring 25 points Sunday against Northwestern.
“I contribute my success to making plays for my teammates and myself,” she said. “I have been working on my pull-up jumper in the offseason and my defense, which makes my offense come together. I’ve also worked on being more vocal with my teammates and working together.”
Guevara said the team’s variety of scorers make them a threat offensively.
“Balanced scoring is important,” Guevara said. “All five players on the court have the capability of scoring in double figures when we have consistent scoring, which can make it difficult for teams to beat us.”
Controlling the pace of play is also important with UW-GB’s size, and Guevara said dictating pace of play starts with rebounding.
“If you want to control the tempo of the game, you have to control the glass,” Guevara said. “We need them to take hurried shots inside and outside, and we need to take more than one shot if we miss by attacking the glass on offense and defense.”