Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lady Braves sit in four-way tie for second

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 12/16/2013

The Ottawa University women’s basketball team is clamping down on teams.

The Lady Braves have given up 60 or more points once in the past seven games. Ottawa’s stingy defense has allowed the offense to start to pick up.

The Ottawa University women’s basketball team is clamping down on teams.

The Lady Braves have given up 60 or more points once in the past seven games. Ottawa’s stingy defense has allowed the offense to start to pick up.

Ottawa had four players between nine and 14 points in Saturday’s 67-50 victory over Bethel in Wilson Field House.

“Our defensive average is really solid right now,” Ottawa coach Bruce Tate said. “We still have a ways to go defensively ... communication and guarding penetration.”

Ottawa is limiting teams to one shot. Bethel had 10 points off second-chance points.

“With the defense we are playing, you can’t give teams second opportunities,” Tate said.

Tate said the learning curve has been good for Ottawa this season. The Lady Braves keep growing.

“Every game means something,” Tate said. “The loss to AIB may have changed our season. Since that game we are 6-2. That is huge.”

Ottawa had clinker in that stretch, a 61-38 loss to Friends. Tate called it the ugliest game of the season.

“I am proud the way we responded,” he said.

Ottawa is 3-1 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and is in a four-way tie for second behind 4-0 Southwestern.

“We are putting ourselves in really good position to make a run,” Tate said. “The road is not going be easier. We are fortunate enough to get those three at home. We are in the race. You have to take care of home court and steal a couple on the road. I love the wins and success. We got to get more consistent.”

Amber Ramsey has been as consistent as anybody in the KCAC. She leads Ottawa in scoring (13.1), rebounding (7.5) and blocks (1.6). She is shooting 51 percent from the floor.

Bethel attempted to slow her down, but she hit nine of 11 free throws en route to 11 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

“That is what your best player should do,” Tate said. “She did exactly what we asked her to do. They are going to pay a lot of attention to Romig and Ashley on the block. We showed a lot of patience. We are starting to look at fourth and fifth options in our sets. We are getting ball reversal.”

Ashley Romig finished with 14 points. Shauna McClure netted 12 and Mikayla Skidmore added nine.

“It was a very tough game,” Tate said. “It was physical. Bethel players play hard. We are trying to do the right things. Even being up 20 you still have to play your game, you still have to coach. We are not good enough to relax. We have not been in this situation before.”

Bethel (50) — Durant 5, Ebenkamp 4, Ulrich 8, Wilkerson 12, Harpe 8, Regier 5, Zerger 8.

Ottawa (67) — Ramsey 11, Romig 14, Skidmore 9, McClure 12, Frazier 4, Grammer 6, Thomas 8, Stewart 3.

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