A young, inexperienced women’s basketball team has already faced some tough challenges this season, but the Red is ready for tonight’s test.
“We’re still looking for the right combination of guards and forwards,” head coach Dayna Smith said. “At times I’m really happy, but I’m still trying to find the group of five players I’m going to play consistently together. Right now that’s our biggest struggle.”
Team chemistry could be the key against the Golden Griffins. The teams have identical 1-2 records, but Canisius has momentum on its side after posting its first win of the season over Colgate, 78-75, on Saturday night.
The Griffs showed the ability to take care of the ball at crucial moments in that game, an area in which the Red has struggled. This weakness was apparent in its 86-63 loss to Bucknell last Wednesday, in which the Red had 26 turnovers. “Turnover-wise, Bucknell pressured us in the half-court, did some traps, and mixed things up defensively against us,” Smith said. “More importantly, we just didn’t take care of the ball.”
But the Red did have some bright spots against Bucknell. Freshman Lindsay Krasna had a break-out game, leading all players with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Claire Perry added solid support with a career-high 18 points.
“[I was] thrilled,” Smith said. “That’s the Lindsay Krasna we saw when we recruited her last summer. She’s super aggressive, took it to the hoop, and didn’t back down. The same with Claire, she did a great job offensively. They’re very versatile guards.”
The lack of experience that has hurt the Red so far should become less of a problem as younger players get used to being relied on for big minutes and big numbers, Smith feels.
“If they can play like that constantly, but make better decisions with the ball, they’ll do great,” she said.
Bucknell also came out stronger than the Red, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and answering every comeback attempt with a bigger run of its own. Canisius features a balanced scoring attack that will look to get ahead early on, with four players scoring in double figures in two of three games this season.
“There were spurts where we turned it up and fought back,” Smith said of the Bucknell game. “We cut it, then they went on a run, then we cut it again. At that point it took a lot out of us. Bucknell had a deeper bench than us, and put in a fresh five and turned up the notch one more level.”
Smith knows the Red cannot make it easy for the Griffs early in the game tonight.
“Every time you start out a game and don’t score it makes it that much harder to get back in it,” she said.
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer