By Aaron Eshelman, Staff Writer
The Newman women’s basketball team has started its season. Going into its next game on Nov. 16, its record is 1-1.
The Jets opened up the season on Friday, playing host to the Tigers of Ouachita Baptist University as part of the Clarion Inn Central Region Challenge.
The team had a slow start to the game, shooting just seven of 27 (25 percent) from the field in the first half, leading to a halftime deficit of 10 with the Jets trailing Ouachita Baptist 23-33.
Coming out of half time, not much changed offensively for the Jets as they continued to struggle from the field.
However, in the third quarter, Newman ratcheted up the defensive pressure and outscored the Tigers 10-9. The game entered the fourth quarter 33-42 in favor of Ouachita Baptist.
The Jets stayed in the game down the stretch with their defense, free throw shooting and ability to keep the Tigers off the foul line.
Newman shot 23 free throws to the Tigers 9 and made 82 percent of their attempts from the stripe for 19 points compared to the tigers 77 percent for seven points.
Even with this disparity, the Tigers still led by 11 with just five minutes and 51 seconds left in the game. That’s when Senior Kaitlyn Potter started a run, scoring 11 of the Jets’ last 17 points and nabbing three rebounds in the closing minutes.
After sinking two free throws to tie the game at 53, she was fouled with just three seconds left and made two more points to win the game.
On Saturday the Jet women played their second game as part of the Clarion Inn Central Region Challenge vs the East Central University Tigers. Newman scored the first five points of the game but still trailed 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and they would not be able to recover in the second, going into the break down 27-18.
The Tigers’ lead only grew in the third quarter despite the Jets having their best shooting quarter of the season, going 7-14 from the field. A tough-fought fourth quarter would prove too much for Newman to overcome this time around and the Jets fell by a score of 58-43 and moved to 1-1 on the season.
Newman has struggled with shooting through the first two games of the season. The team’s 29.30 shooting percentage ranks it 273rd out of 279 NCAA Division II teams, according to NCAA.com. The Jets also come in 270th in three-point shooting at 13.5 percent. Last season, the Jets shot 32.7 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 25.2 points per game just off three pointers.
The Jets are back in action at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home in Fugate Gymnasium vs. Northwestern Oklahoma State.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Newman Athletics