Preview: Home-court, strong finish the stories leading into Saturday’s regular-season finale

Jackets host Bethany with a home game Monday night at stake

This Saturday, the women’s basketball team will be taking on the Bethany Bison in its final game of the season, with a strong possibility of hosting them again in the playoffs. Both teams come into this game with a 6-18 overall record and a 5-10 conference record, and when they played earlier this season, they were separated by only one point as Waynesburg came out with a 74-73 win, so the teams are about as evenly matched as it gets in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

The winner will host the loser in the first round of the conference tournament Monday night. 

Momentum matters

The importance of winning Saturday’s game cannot be understated. 

“It’s very important,” Waynesburg coach Sam Jones said. 

Not only is this game  the difference between hosting and not hosting the first playoff game, for Jones, momentum matters entering the playoffs as well.  

“We want to be entering with momentum rather than limping in,” he said.

Avoid digging a hole

Despite the close victory in the previous game with Bethany, the win didn’t  come without some bumps in the road. The Jackets were down fourteen at halftime and had to claw their way back. Jones believes getting off to a fast start Saturday is a must for Waynesburg. 

“It’s really important,” Jones said. “Energy is a very important part of the game and they came out and punched us in the face in the first half. We can’t just say we came back last time [or] we’ll do it again. “We have to play with energy from the beginning, because we know they will after losing a game they believe they should have won.”

Making shots

In the first meeting Waynesburg had trouble shooting shooting. Both the field goal percentage [34.8%] and three-point percentage [19.2%] were well below where they would want them to be, and well below their season averages. 

“We had a three, four game stretch where we weren’t making shots,” he said.  “The only way to fix that is to get to the gym and put up some shots. We’re looking to improve the three-point shooting to open up the inside, and of course they’re worth more too.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30