By Roderick Wilbon, Sports Editor
University of Missouri-St. Louis women’s basketball opened the season with two home games on November 10-11. The Lady Tritons faced Davenport on the 10th and Grand Valley State on the 11th. The Tritons are a good balanced team on both defense and offense. They really showed their prowess and what we can continue to see this season.
Davenport came in the game and could not do much with the Tritons. The Tritons defense controlled most of the game. They swarmed opponents in man to man defense and helped when needed. It is a suffocating defense and causes the other team to make mistakes. The Tritons jump passing lanes and got a lot of hands on balls.
The Tritons stayed up 19-20 points for three quarters of the game. The offense ran by point guard 5-foot, Sammie Sproul, senior, business. Sproul is a small guard, but is quick and pressures teams on the breakout. They ran a lot of ball screens to get players open on the wing and the three-point line. When guards are pressed they can go to the athletic forward, Shawnta Johnson, senior, communications, and center, Jordan Fletcher, senior, marketing.
Davenport ran a couple different defenses at the Tritons to throw them off their game. In the fourth quarter Davenport switched to a full-court press and started to trap the guards. They created a lot of pressure for the guards of UMSL and some miscues. Davenport went with some key three-pointers tying the game 59-59 with 23 seconds left in the fourth. A block by Arielle Jackson, junior, biology, stopped a potential game winning three-pointer by Davenport.
The game would enter 5 minutes of overtime. Alex Laporta, freshman, business administration, and Jackson of UMSL took over in overtime. UMSL shot 34.7 from the field and outrebounded Davenport by 17 RBs. The full-court press and traps were not working anymore and with poise the Tritons took fouls to get sent to the line. Free-throws would finish Davenport with the final score of 75-67. “They tried to throw a lot of stuff at us to throw off our rhythm,” said Triton Head Coach Katie Vaughn. “We played well though for our first game and overcoming some first-time jitters.”
The game against Grand Valley State was moved to Washington University on November 11. It was moved after a freak accident of one of the hoops breaking in the gym. That move might have been the downfall of the Tritons. They would go on to lose 61-58 to Grand Valley State in a close game that was decided on miscues by the Tritons.