The Waynesburg University women’s basketball team returns to the court Thursday after 12 days off to face the Chatham Cougars. The Lady Jackets come into the game 0-4 on the season, having last played in an 82-64 loss to Saint Vincent on Feb. 13.
Before the season started on Feb. 3rd it had been over 300 days between games due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This latest gap in play is thankfully over, and felt slightly similar to prior seasons according to Head Coach Sam Jones.
“It was like an unplanned Christmas break,” Jones said. “You’ve started your season, played a few games, take a week and a half off, then come back and play a few more games.”
Chatham played last on Monday losing 49-45 at home to Franciscan, dropping the Cougars to 1-4. Junior Kaitlyn Fertig leads the Cougars in scoring with an average of 17.6 per game, and is 5th in Presidents’ Athletic Conference scoring entering Thursday’s game.
“Kaitlyn is one of the top players in the conference to be sure,” Jones said. “She’s kind of the heartbeat of the team, so as she goes they go.”
Fertig may be the leading scorer, but Chatham has other players coming close to or exceeding at least 10 points per game.
“If you count 9.5 as scoring in double figures, which is good enough for me, I believe they have 4 girls that can score double figures,” Jones said
There are three other Chatham players putting up 10 or more points each game. Senior Brittani Smith and Sophomore Riley D’Angelo average exactly 10 points a night, and Graduate Student Maddy Grennes has 9.6 (close enough, it’s 10) points each time.
Another aspect Waynesburg must disrupt in the Cougars game is their passing prowess.
“They have very good ball movement,” Jones said. “They definitely have their hierarchy of shot takers, but have many capable scorers who each bring something unique.”
With two games over the next three days and Thursday’s game originally being scheduled at Chatham, it’s a great opportunity for the Lady Jackets to build towards the rest of the season.
“It’s a great positive, it gives us an extra day to prepare,” Jones said. “Having the ability to play at home tonight was a nice change.”
Tip-off from the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse is at 7 p.m. with live coverage provided by the PAC Digital Network.