Starting slow in the first half and trailing Newman 8-12, the Lady Hornets basketball team stepped up their game, ultimately winning 77-66 to continue their undefeated run at White Auditorium Tuesday night.
“I was happy we won. That is about the extent of the positive,” said Head Coach Jory Collins. “I wasn’t really happy with our defensive effort or our offensive execution. We had a lot of careless turnovers just trying to feed the post…we didn’t play with a sense of urgency.”
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Emporia State took a 20-13 lead after a three-point play off of a foul by sophomore forward and undecided major Merissa Quick. Quick had 11 points in the first half, helping the Hornets cushion their lead to 44-31.
“Offensively, we are going to work on feeding the post. It sounds like a really simple thing, but it’s difficult for us to do,” Collins said. “We have to be able to throw it into those guys that are open, and I feel like we missed them a ton of times. But when we got it in there, good things were happening.”
The Hornets extended their lead to 20 with a little over 12 minutes left in the second half with two free throws from junior guard and nursing major Haley Parker. The Hornets shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line.
“We have so much support from the community and all these people that have been coming to games for years and years,” Parker said. “We definitely don’t want to let them down, and we take a lot of pride winning here at home.”
Overall, the Lady Hornets shot 39.7 percent from the field, making 25 for 63. Quick was the player of the game, shooting seven for nine from the floor and seven for 10 from the free throw line, for a total of 21 points.
“The guards did a good job of getting me the ball when I was open, and we just made the open play,” Quick said.
This was the second straight year the Hornets have opened the regular season against Newman and the 16th straight year they have won their home opener. Next Friday, the Hornets travel to Pueblo, Colo. to take on Western State at 2 p.m. Friday, and Colorado State at 6 p.m. Saturday.