BY NATALIE HEAVREN, SPORTS EDITOR
Women’s basketball fell 77-58 to Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome. But certainly [there are] a lot of great things to build from today,” said head coach Nyla Milleson to open the post-game press conference.
“We knew it was going to be a tough challenge — their size, their athleticism, their inside-outside game. It just really, we knew it was going to present some challenges for us. But I thought, other than just a couple stretches in the game, we played very good basketball … I did not like our energy that we came out of the locker room with in the third quarter. So that’s something we’ll definitely look at and address and be better next time,” Milleson continued.
Despite the stretches where Mason did not play well, Milleson was not down on her team’s performance.
“We’re not into moral victories right now. We want a championship mentality, but one of our whole things today was to win the day in the intangibles and I think we certainly did that,” Milleson said.
Last season the team averaged 16.3 turnovers per game, but had far fewer than that on Sunday afternoon.
Milleson’s first point of emphasis in the press conference was that the team committed just 11 turnovers. She also added, “I thought we really really really controlled the ball.”
In fact, six of the turnovers were committed in the first quarter.
If the Patriots can continue to control the ball as well as they did in the last three quarters, the team will be in a better position to win more games.
Two freshmen saw action on Sunday and both found success.
In her opening statement, Milleson touched on this, saying, “I’m going to give props to our two freshmen. Even though Tamia [Lawhorne] got considerable time against College of Charleston, it’s still a whole different level [at] your first home game. … She’s going to do nothing but get better in Jaz [Jazmyn Doster] and her first collegiate game came in and really really really battled so I’m proud of this team.”
Tamia Lawhorne finished the game with eight rebounds, two rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes.
Jazmyn Doster played just seven minutes but was able to contribute two points and five rebounds.
Last season the Patriots averaged 5.6 made three-pointers per game. The team made 8 of their 24 three-point shots against the Hokies.
“It was super important [to hit those shots], especially just creating energy when we needed it,” said senior Jacy Bolton. “The other three-pointers came at a good time, we just need to get a little bit more of them to fall.”
Milleson echoed those thoughts. “I think we’re a good shooting team. But to get 24 of them off, one of our big things we said is that we’ve got to shoot open shots. So you can’t against a team like that, that isn’t going to give you a whole lot of really good looks. You got to shoot,” she said.
She continued, “I thought all of us did. I thought Jacy did a really good job, and that’s one thing that [we need] in order for us to be successful this year. She’s going to have to shoot shots, and she’s going to have to shoot open shots and not be hesitant, and I thought she was a great senior leader in that regard today.”
If the team can continue to hit threes, they will not only be able to open up their offense but also be able to score more points.
The Patriots continue their homestand against Detroit Mercy on Nov. 16 at 12 p.m.