Women’s Basketball Pointed in Right Direction
Gus Merwin
amarc543@uwsp.edu - Twitter @GusMerwin

After starting the season 5-3, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point women’s basketball team seems to have found their stride by winning 12 of their last 13 games.

“We kind of fell into a slump, which a lot of teams do,” said junior guard Josi Schultz. “After the slump, we refocused and remembered the goals we have in place.”

The Pointers now stand at 18-4, with a conference record of 10-3. They are only a half-game behind the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for the top spot in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC).

Whitewater has been the biggest challenge for the Pointers this season, defeating them in both regular season matchups.

The Pointers know they can beat the Warhawks if they play their best game. “We beat ourselves in those games,” said senior guard, Sam Barber.

“We had them down at their place, and we let them back in,” Schultz said. “We became complacent and didn't hit crucial free throws when we needed to. If and when we play them again, we will be ready.”

The Pointers still want that sixth straight WIAC regular season championship, and they will need a little help to win the regular season title. “We are hoping that Whitewater stubs their toe and that we can continue to get the wins,” Barber said.

Even as a team that has only lost once in the past month and half, some things can still be fine-tuned to make the team better.

“We haven't been the best defensively this year, but we are working on it,” Schultz said. “Limiting second chance opportunities for our opponent is key.”

“We need to improve on overall just playing well together,” Barber said. “We proved a couple times this year that if we play to our individual strengths, but as a team, then we can be unstoppable.”

Barber stressed the message of playing together, saying that if they all try individually to beat a team it won’t work, but if they all work together, they can accomplish anything.

“It all has to do with playing as a team,” Barber said.

After beating the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse this weekend, and playing the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh this Wednesday, the Pointers will only have two games left until the WIAC tournament, starting on February 20th.

While the Pointers preach team play, Barber certainly has earned the right for some individual recognition for her play this season.

Voted by d3hoops.com as a preseason All-American in Division III, Barber has played up to her billing.

Barber averages 18.7 points per game, which isn’t only the top scoring mark on the team but the 32nd highest in all of Division III women’s basketball.

The Pointers senior has also shown that she is one of the best scorers from beyond the arc in the country, with the 12th highest three-point percentage in Division III, hitting on almost 43% of her three-point attempts.

Barber also leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game and 37 steals on the season, and see is second on the team with 23 blocks.

With the team playing so well so late in the season, it isn’t implausible to believe that they could have a nice run in the National Collegiate Athlete Association tournament.

“We have all the tools we need, but we just need to put them together and keep them together for the rest of the time being,” Barber said.

Schultz made a good point when she said that the team can’t worry about that. They need to focus on the conference title. “One game at a time,” Schultz said.