Women’s Basketball Fights Adversity
Will Rossmiller
wross460@uwsp.edu - Twitter @willrossmiller
Egner,-Shirley.jpg

After losing their previous two games of the season, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point women’s basketball team has rallied, winning two games in a row.

The Pointers, now 5-3 and 1-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), played through some sad news the past week. Shirley Egner, head coach of the Pointers, lost her brother in a battle with cancer.

“Emotionally we were up and down, and I think after the Superior loss, our kids have worked hard at practice, and we’ve came out and competed in our last two games,” Egner said.

“I think those losess were a slap in the face for us, which is great because now we can put it together and improve,” Egner said.

The Superior loss was the Pointers’ low point. Egner said the team didn’t execute well across the board.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and we didn’t defend well,” Egner said. “The bottom line was they just outplayed us.”

The two wins were huge for the Pointers to forget about the struggles of the season so far and get back on a winning track, as well as regain some sense of normalcy.

“I think we’re finding our way, both emotionally and physically,” Egner said.

However, just as Stevens Point is getting comfortable, the season is becoming an uphill battle as the Pointers prepare to face Illinois Wesleyan. 

​Head Coach Shirley Egner. Photo
Courtesy of Sports Information.
 

“They’re a very good basketball team,” Egner said.

Egner explained the Titans as a fast-paced team that plays full court pressure and has an offense that relies heavily on turnovers. Unfortunately, the main weakness of this Pointers team is its problems with turnovers.

The Pointers have averaged more than 19 turnovers per game so far this season, so taking care of the ball is a major priority.

“We definitely want to take care of the basketball against them,” Egner said.

The team also has to step up its defensive intensity, according to Egner.

“We’re going to have to be able to handle the pressure, and we have to defend,” Egner said. “We just can’t give up 70-75 points a game and expect to win.”

There are still some advantages on the Pointers side, according to Egner.

“Playing at home will help us a lot, and I think we’re a deeper team then they are,” Egner said.

Even with a few blemishes on the season, Egner still believes, without a doubt, that this team still deserves the twelfth spot in Division III women’s hoops.

“If we can have four or five kids that are able to score for us and able to defend for us, we are a very good team,” Egner said.

“Our record might not show it, but we’re a very good basketball team, and I think we’re going to be even better come January and February when we get a consistent rotation and go through the grueling WIAC schedule.”

The Pointers play Illinois Wesleyan this Saturday. The tip-off is at 4:00 p.m. in the Berg Gym.