The Eastern Oregon/Albertson road trip is behind Evergreen
December 19, 2003
by James J. Portune
Caldwell, ID - The opening of Cascade Conference play provided an excellent opportunity for The Evergreen State College Women's Basketball team to get a feel for where they stood. Wednesday's game (Dec. 17) game at Eastern Oregon (1-0 Cascade Conference, 7-1 Overall) matched the Geoducks against one of the best pre-season teams in the conference. Thursday's game (Dec. 18) at Albertson (1-0 CCC, 3-4 Ovr) put Evergreen up against one of the team they need to beat in order to earn a Cascade Conference post-season berth.
Ironically, the team played well against the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers, the tougher team, and struggled against the Albertson Coyotes, the weaker opponent.
Wednesday, senior Kristen Zompetti (Seattle, WA/Kennedy HS) had her five 20-point game of the 2003-04 season, scoring 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the behind the three point arc and 2-for-5 shooting from the floor, and senior Alicia Riddle (Portland, OR/Benson Polytechnic HS) contributed 16 points, nine from long range, six from in the paint and one from the free throw line, at the Geoducks lost to the Mountaineers by seven points, 75-68. Heather Hyde's (Olympia, WA/Central HS) 11-points gave Evergreen three scorers in double figures.
Freshman Jenny Olson's (Loon Lake, WA/Deer Park HS) 8-rebounds, 2 offensive and 6 defensive), was one shy of the game high 9-rebounds pulled down by Eastern's Jamie Jo Cant.
Better shooting for the floor and from the three point line gave the Mountaineers a 37-33 half time lead. But, even though Evergreen had fewer turnover (19 to 23) and more shots (68 to 61) than Eastern's, it was the Mountaineers inside presence that the Geoducks had no answer for. Forty of Eastern's 70 points were scored in the paint.
The tale for Evergreen at Albertson Thursday night is a tale of a game that did not start well and did not get much better.
Twenty-seven percent shooting produced only 23 points for Evergreen in the first half. Remarkably, they trailed Albertson by nine points at the half, 32-23.
In the second half though, the Coyotes caught fire and converted 50% of their shot, field goals and three point attempts, and outscored the Geoducks 41 to 26.
Evergreen improved their three-point shooting from 23% in the 1st half to 40% in the 2nd half. But, the inability to score in the paint produced only three more points (26) in the 2nd half than they scored in the 1st half.
There are positive indicators that this year's team has the potential to be Coach Monica Heuer's best team. They are scoring more points per game - 58 points compared, to 53 points last season and 55 points to years ago - allowing the opponent to score fewer points - 43 points this season, 44 points last year and 47 points two years ago.
In both contests this week, Evergreen had fewer turnovers than both teams, took more shots and made more three-point baskets. The only statistical category they did not win was rebounding. Eastern outrebounded the Geoducks 51 to 31 and Albertson's controlled the boards, pulling down 49 to Evergreen's 30.
The difficulty Coach Heuer is having with her team is consistence. Zompetti is scoring double figure points each game but all the other eleven player are hot one night, cold the next night. The same problem is occurring in the paint. One night Olson is dominate in the paint, the next night Hyde steps up, the next game Pendergrass emerges as a force to be reckoned with. Each game Coach Heuer does not know who she can rely upon to stop the opponent from getting a second shot or give Evergreen the needed second change baskets.