Kenneth M. McCanless
ARCATA.- Humboldt State’s women’s basketball team used a decisive third quarter to pull away from visiting Simpson University Wednesday night at Lumberjack Arena, ultimately earning an 89-56 victory in their first outing of the year.
Madeline Hatch led five Jacks in double figures with 16 points as the home team utilized a balanced effort with 59% shooting from the field and 43.3% from three in the win.
“I really thought our defensive intensity tonight was pretty high,” said Head Coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. “I’m not going to say we were efficient all the time on the defensive end, but I thought we kept the intensity really high.”
Leading 42-30 at half, the Lumberjacks solidified their advantage by outscoring the visitors 30-16 in the third quarter and according to Bento-Jackson, getting great energy on both ends of the floor.
A potential area for improvement for the Jacks was turnovers, as they had 18 with what Bento-Jackson called at certain times “not good decisions” that the team will look to clean up.
On the whole, however, HSU had much to be optimistic about in their opener.
“Early on in the game, Maddie Hatch got us going offensively,” said Bento-Jackson. “She really had the hot hand and we were riding her tails so to speak. Then Tyla Turner came in and gave us an offensive spark, and when we have balance like this, it just makes us a better basketball team. Catharine Rees came off the bench and gave us great minutes. Darian Gore came in and gave us great minutes at the end. Our hope is that that’s the kind of team we’re going to have this year, where our scoring is by committee and we really do a good job sharing the ball.”
Bento-Jackson said that for the next contest, the emphasis will be on defensive paint protection, as she felt the Jacks allowed too many lay-in opportunities against Simpson.
HSU now has a week and a half to prepare for their next opponent, Southern Oregon, who will visit Lumberjack Arena on Saturday, Nov. 4.