It’s uncertain what the weather is going to be Saturday when the Waynesburg University women’s basketball team travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Chatham Cougars.
One thing that’s likely, however, is that it will be raining threes inside Chatham’s Athletics and Fitness Center.
“They are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country right now,” Waynesburg coach Sam Jones said. “We’ll have to guard the three-point line well for sure, to make them work hard for baskets.”
As of Wednesday morning, Chatham was 5-0, and a big reason why is because the Cougars are tied for 26th in the country in Division III in three pointers made. However, Jones thinks that his offense has an advantage that can help the Jackets [1-4] score points.
“We can take advantage of our size and get the ball inside and work it around a little bit,” Jones said. “I think we can get to the rim a little bit, and then either kick that out for a good shot or just get some points out of it.”
Last season Waynesburg split it’s season series with Chatham. In the game Waynesburg won, Jones remembers Waynesburg outplaying the Cougars down low.
“I think all three of our post players had really good nights,” Jones said. “I know Andrea [Orlosky] had a double double, Brooke had a double double. We got the ball inside well.”
For senior guard Erin Joyce, a key to getting an important conference win is to build on what the Jackets do well.
“I think that we have to take what we did well last year and translate that into games this year and stay focused,” Joyce said.
Another key, Joyce said, will be to keep Chatham from getting the shot opportunities that the Cougars thrive on.
“We have to be more focused on defense and getting out to their shooters and finding them in transition,” Joyce said. “We have to find their shooters, and we also have to be able to move when the ball moves so we can get out and close out and get a hand in their face to make it a more difficult shot.”
Joyce is the only senior on the team, and realizes she needs to lead by example.
“I’ve noticed that I need to stay calm and collective. That way everyone else can see ‘ok she’s calm and collective,’” Joyce said. “If I’m vocal it helps other people know what is going on and be vocal themselves.”
If Waynesburg beats Chatham, Jones thinks it will provide the team with a lot of confidence moving forward.
“Anytime you get a conference win it’s a great thing,” he said. “A conference win on the road is another level of difficulty. It will just prove that we can win a conference game on the road against a quality opponent and hopefully that will springboard us forward.”
The Jackets will look to collect their fifth consecutive road victory against Chatham. Tip-off at noon this Saturday.