PREVIEW: Women’s basketball hosts first-place Bearcats

As the end of regular season approaches, games begin to test a team. The regular season is over next Saturday, but the teams in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference are far from done  in their battle for position in the standings. For the Waynesburg University women’s basketball team, every game counts from here on out.

Today, the Jackets face a Saint Vincent Bearcats [16-6, 12-1] team who find themselves at the top of the conference. For both teams, a win would help in the standings, but Waynesburg is fighting for the sixth-place spot, where home court advantage would be in their favor for the first round.

In the last match-up between Saint Vincent and Waynesburg, the Bearcats overcame five Yellow Jackets scoring in double figures to earn a 96-86 win at the Carey Center. Junior guard Andrea Orlosky believes it will take a lot of energy to beat St. Vincent. 

“As long as we have high intensity and high energy, it’s going to really help us,” Orlosky said. “Obviously they are a high intensity and high energy team as well.”

Not giving anything away

Saint Vincent has one of the best scoring offenses and defenses in the conference. Coming off lopsided victories against Westminster and Bethany, junior guard Jenna Lafko led the Bearcats in scoring in both of those wins. She also dropped 18 points in the first contest with  Waynesburg.

Senior guard Erin Joyce knows Waynesburg has to make sure it doesn’t give anything easy to the Bearcats.

“A thing that kind of hurt us last time was their transition points,” Joyce said. “We [have] to make sure we’re getting people back, so they are not getting those easy layups on the other end.”

Waynesburg had a total of 16 turnovers in the first game against Saint Vincent. This created opportunities that allowed the Bearcats to score 19 points off those turnovers, and Waynesburg coach Sam Jones has constantly reminded his team of the importance of taking care of the basketball.

Saturday, Waynesburg is expecting some full court pressure from Saint Vincent. Orlosky knows this is a time when turnovers can be especially dangerous.

“[Jones] tells us all the time to just relax and to play intense,” Orlosky said. “But,sometimes we mistake that with playing fast and that causes a lot of error.”

Second chances

Another important note from the first matchup was that Saint Vincent had 16 second chance points. This is a factor Jones believes is one of the essential areas of focus for Saturday.

“It comes down to winning the battle of the boards and attention to detail,” Jones said.

And the way to get the best chance of winning the battle of the boards: boxing out.

 “As long as each person on the court boxes out a girl we will be fine,” Orlosky said. “That’s one thing we’ve been struggling with all season, it’s just all five of us finding a girl, boxing her out and getting the ball.”

Tipoff is at 1:30