Women’s basketball starts season off strong
November 22, 2013
Even after losing two top scorers from last year’s squad, Monmouth’s women’s basketball team is poised to continue championship style basketball in their 2013-2014 campaign. Colleen Forrest graduated Monmouth with the most career 3-pointers in school history with 213. Along with Forrest, the Scots lost Zipporah Williams who dominated the post and had 23 double figure games last season. Beside the two graduates, the Scots are looking like a very similar look to last year’s team with four returning starters.
Heading into her eighth season at the helm, head coach Melissa Bittner describes this team as “aggressive and athletic.” Relying on an up-tempo offense and aggressive defense, the Scots look to force turnovers and rely on returners like Marla Willard and Jacquice Cooper. Willard comes off her third straight year leading the team in rebounds. She averaged almost 10 boards per game last season. This season she already has two double-doubles in just three games. Cooper, who averaged only 15 minutes a game last year, will see a lot more playing time this season.
The Scots also keep two of the best backcourt players a secret as both Paige Nord and Kaley Corban averaged a quiet 10 points and 2 assists per game. This year the two shooting guards keep up their pace as Corban poured in 15 points against Benedictine last Tuesday while Nord is shooting 88 percent from the charity stripe. Senior point guard Kim Coleman has started this year off strong scoring 13 points in the season opener against Aurora and already has 10 assists and 11 steals on the season.
After a school record 14 conference wins last season, the Scots look to go back to the NCAA tournament, which would be the second time in three years. The Scots are currently well on their way to accomplish that goal as the women are 3-0 and are averaging 75 points per game. Coach Bittner’s team has shown a nice balance of great defense and offense. The Scots have forced 77 turnovers in just three games which speaks to the success of the Scots great full court press.
On Mondays win over North Park University, Monmouth’s largest lead was 20 points and the Vikings could only manage to sneak within eight. Bittner called the win “a little bit of a roller coaster ride” as the Scots shot 50 percent from the field in the first half but shot only 28 percent in the second.
Right now the roller coaster looks to be going up and the Scots look to keep it that way. The Scots will play their first conference game against Ripon College at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Glennie Gymnasium.