By Charlie Wolfson, news staff
Two more home losses have patience running thin for the Northeastern women’s basketball team. After a 68-54 loss to the College of William & Mary Friday and a 67-49 setback against James Madison University (JMU) Sunday left the team with a 7-16 record, the coaching staff and the players are searching for answers.
Against William & Mary, the Huskies barely left the starting gate by the time the Tribe had taken control of the game. William & Mary opened the game on a 17-2 run, and held a 31-8 lead after the first quarter. Head coach Kelly Cole questioned whether her team was ready to start the game.
“I think we were still sleeping,” Cole said. “We were taking a nap. They came out ready to play and we didn’t.”
That first quarter saw Northeastern shoot 2-8 from the field, commit seven turnovers and receive a cumulative zero points from their mainstay duo of sophomore guard Jess Genco and senior center Francesca Sally. William & Mary, meanwhile, filled the basket to the tune of 12-18 from the field, including 5-8 from three point range. Seven different players scored points for them in the quarter.
The Huskies couldn’t muster up an answer for guard Marlena Tremba, who scored 17 points in the game, including eight in the first quarter assault. Cole was not satisfied with the way Northeastern defended Tremba throughout most of the game.
“The plan was to always have a hand in her face, and we just didn’t get the job done,” she said.
Though her team prided itself on remaining positive through some difficult circumstances this season, Cole struggled to come up with a positive message following the game.
“I would love to come in here and say, ‘I’m pleased that we didn’t give up tonight.’ But that’s the best thing I could come up with,” she said. “We looked like a team that’s early in the preseason. We were pieces all over the place. We can’t keep spotting teams 15 or 20 points and think that we’ll climb out. We’ve got to figure out that the game starts at 7:00 and we need to be ready to play at 7:00.”
Against JMU, Northeastern came ready to play at the opening tip and trailed by just one after the first quarter. They eventually succumbed to some of the same mistakes that have plagued them all season, and trailed by 17 at halftime.
The primary bright spot for the Huskies was junior guard Claudia Ortiz, who scored 15 points and has averaged as many over her last 10.
“We do this every day,” Ortiz said. “It has to do with how hard you go in practice. Everybody is going hard, but everybody has their different battles. Basketball takes a lot of stuff—you have to think about a lot of things all the time. That’s why not everybody plays basketball.”
Much like Tremba was a thorn in the Huskies’ side in the William & Mary game, guard Precious Hall was NU’s undoing against JMU. Hall scored 23 points in the first half and was rested for all but eight minutes of the second half, in which she added six more points.
“Precious is a great player,” Ortiz said. “She does a little bit of everything. She has answer for everything. But we’ve got to respect their other girls too. It was a tough situation.”
Northeastern has eight games remaining in Colonial Athletic Association play to right the ship before the conference tournament. It seems as though they will try to press on with the same attitude they’ve taken after most of their losses.
“We’ve got a young core of kids,” Cole said. “We’ve got to keep building a culture that understands being ready, how to fight, how to prepare and how to bounce back. There’s a lot of season left.”
Northeastern plays at Elon University on Friday and at home against the College of Charleston on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics