Defensive Woes Cost Lady Rams in Defeat
Bluefield College women's head coach Steve Hardin wants his team to be defensive-minded. Unfortunately Saturday afternoon at the Dome Gymnasium, the Lady Rams defense let them down as they fell to UVA-Wise 86-71.
November 6, 2010
Surrounded... Bluefield College’s Katrina Morris, leaps for the ball between Meghan Rutherford (44) and Chelsea Cluesman (35) during the Lady Rams’s loss to Virginia-Wise in the Bluefield College Invitational on Saturday at the Dome Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy of Eric DiNovo/ Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Bluefield College women's head coach Steve Hardin wants his team to be defensive-minded. Unfortunately Saturday afternoon at the Dome Gymnasium, the Lady Rams defense let them down as they fell to UVA-Wise 86-71.
"I think yesterday we played a physical up and down game," said Hardin, of Bluefield's 77-71 win over West Virginia Tech. "We were a little sluggish. We wanted to control tempo and they did that early. Our defensive was just not there tonight."
The Cavaliers shot 44 percent from the field in the first half and jumped out to a 42-29 lead.
"We're so small," UVA-Wise head coach Doug Carter said of his team's defensive play. "So, we have to be crafty. We have to use our wit. Hopefully, it continues to work."
The Cavaliers held the Lady Rams to 33 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, including 25 percent from behind the arc.
Bluefield College seemed to find itself in the second half as Antonia Cataldi, Kiara Williams and De'Arra Darling hit big three pointers to cut the lead to seven at 54-47 early in the second half.
"We've been streaky the last two years," Hardin said. We've got to get better and get more consistent. That's one thing we're not doing a good job of."
The Lady Rams kept the pressure on the Cavaliers cutting the lead to five after back-to-back three pointers by Kendra Nutter making it 61-54 with just under seven minutes to go.
"I want my team to be really aggressive and attack all the time," Carter said. "Bluefield is really good. They're going to make shots."
UVA-Wise regained the momentum though with an 8-2 run capped off by a Meghan Rutherford lay in to push the lead to 11 at 71-60 with five minutes remaining.
The Lady Rams kicked up the pressure on defensive with a full-court trap and forced two straight turnovers but could not convert on the offensive end.
"Their pressure is very good," Carter said. "They have great athletes. We got lucky. We got tired. It was quality pressure they put on us."
With Bluefield unable to capitalize on the UVA-Wise turnovers, the Cavaliers put them away with a lay up by Kristin Mullins which pushed the lead to 16 points at 80-64 with three minutes remaining.
Bluefield (1-1) hit two straight three pointers from Nutter and Keyla Baltimore, but it was not enough as UVA-Wise came away with the victory.
Nutter finished with 15 points to led the Lady Rams.
"She saved us," Hardin said. "(She) kept us in the game. Her scoring almost put us back in the game. She stepped up tonight and we hope that continues on."
Katrina Morris finished with eight points in the loss and was held in check by the Cavaliers' zone play.
"With them running the zone, we want to beat the pressure before it starts," Hardin said. "Our offense was stagnant and stood too much in the first half. We couldn't get our posts involved."
Mullins and Rutherford each finished with 18 points for UVA-Wise. Amber Carter was named tournament MVP, she also finished with 18 points.
Chelsea Cluesman added 15 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Bluefield College (1-1) travels to Tennessee State for an exhibition game on Tuesday.
Courtesy of JONATHAN GREENE/ Bluefield Daily Telegraph