Senior guard Jalisa Olive might only be 5-foot-4, but she made a big impact in the women’s basketball team’s 92-69 win against Akron Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Arena.
Olive, a native of Chicago, scored 10 points in just 18 minutes. She was one of four Chippewas to score in double-figures in the game but the only one to do so off the bench.
“My job is always to bring the energy,” Olive said. “When we start, the game we get a little rocky at times, but then we bring people off the bench. That’s when we need to bring the energy back into the game, so that’s what I try to do.”
Olive has shown the ability to put up big numbers in her time at CMU. In 2010, she scored 32 points against North Carolina A & T.
This season, the reigning Mid-American Conference Sixth Player of the Year is averaging just 10 minutes a game while averaging 5.7 points per game, shooting 39 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc. This coming off a season where she won the Sixth Player of the Year award by averaging 14.6 minutes. Despite her drop in minutes, her points per game and shooting percentage have all increased.
“I know what I need to do for this team, so I make the most out of every minute I get,” Olive said.
Olive also tied for the team lead with four steals in the win against the Zips, giving her 14 steals on the season. She is now one steal shy of 100 in her career.
“JO is always going to put pressure on the ball,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “When Jessica Green picked up her second foul, Jalisa came in and defended. Everyone knows she can hit the three, and from deep, but she came in for her defense.”
While her defensive pressure is one of her biggest strengths, Guevara said it gets her into trouble sometimes.
“Now it’s just about getting Jalisa to stay disciplined and not go for the steal all the time but to pick and choose when to go for it,” Guevara said. “It’s her senior year, so she wants to play. The more disciplined she plays, the more minutes she’ll get.”
Olive and the rest of the Chippewas will look to continue their undefeated MAC season at 7 p.m. Thursday when they host Kent State at McGuirk Arena.