Looking for a spark, struggling Mavs turn to Breidel
When you’re on an eight-game losing streak, you look for anything to turn things around.
Mesa State College women’s basketball coach Timi Brown has already tried several different personnel combinations, but the Mavericks continue to struggle.
This week, she may look to sophomore guard Hannah Breidel to spark the Mavericks.
Breidel, like many on the team, showed she is capable of scoring, netting a career-high 16 points in Mesa’s most recent game, a 74-58 loss to Northern State (S.D.) University on Dec. 27 at Brownson Arena.
“We’ve been working really hard and focusing on the things that haven’t got us the wins,” Breidel said. “I think we’re ready to turn this around.”
Since that game, the Mavericks (3-9, 0-4 RMAC) have spent the past 10 days practicing everything from defense to ballhandling and shooting with confidence.
“We went back to work,” Brown said. “We had days to regroup and rest, but we worked hard and tried to get better. We’re not in a situation to take time off.
“We’ve got to get back to the little things. That’s what we need to get this turned around.”
During the past 10 days, Breidel has asserted herself in practice, pleasing Brown.
“I’m proud of Hannah Breidel the last couple of weeks,” Brown said. “She has been tremendously coachable. She is listening and asking questions. She plays hard. She’s a shooter. She needs to be ready to shoot on the floor.”
Brown said Breidel might be starting for the first time this weekend when the Mavericks host Nebraska-Kearney (7-5, 2-2 RMAC) at 6 tonight and Chadron State (6-6, 1-3 RMAC) at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Brownson Arena.
“In practice, I shoot lights-out,” Breidel said. “For some reason, in games I’m not confident.
The last game, I forgot all my misses and got open for shots. It was good to knock some down finally.
“Whatever route she goes, I don’t think it’s important to be a starter. It’s about the outcome.”
Breidel would be the 10th player to start at least one game for the Mavericks this season.
Brown is also pleased with the work of other players.
“When Hannah Walsh was injured, she was doing everything she could do to get better in practice,” Brown said. “Alishea (Kelly) practiced hard. She was starting to come on. Ashley (Davis) and Jenn (Landers) are getting their confidence and Abby (Hancock) had some good practices.
“We’ve got seven solid players; it’s a matter of playing together.”
Heather Habekost and Courtney McCaig are still sidelined with injuries. Brittany Whiteman missed several practices because of a death in the family and Stephanie Delgado has been ill.
“(Tuesday) we had seven in practice,” Brown said. “Those seven worked to death. They are still plugging away.”
Delgado is leading the team with 11 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. She is expected to play, but Habekost, McCaig and Whiteman won’t likely see a lot of minutes, if any at all.