AU women’s basketball prepares for final seven contests

The Eagles continue to roll through January


AU Athletics

With a redefined defensive strategy, and an undefeated record, the Eagles prepare for the regular season to come to a close.

Coming into the new year, the Ashland University women’s basketball team was a perfect 14-0, and the month of January was no different.

In the 31-day span, the Eagles won seven contests, all within the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC). The Eagles set themselves apart from its competitors winning by an average of over 31 points per game.

One of the players that have been pivotal in the team’s dominant success this season, has been senior Annie Roshak.

Roshak this season is averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game in just 21 minutes of action per contest.

Roshak currently sits at the forefront of division II being the #1 player in field goal percentage at 70.81%, making 114 of 161 shots through 21 games.

“Being #1 in the nation is a really cool thing, and I know it may sound cliché to say, but basketball is a team sport and any individual recognition is a reflection of the team,” said Roshak. “Finishing the season there would be something that I think younger me would have strived for, but as I’ve gotten older and my playing career has gone on, my hope is that basketball serves as a platform for people to see joy, hope, and love displayed.”

It hasn’t been all veteran players getting the Eagle’s wings under themselves. New transfers including starter Maddie Maloney, and reserves Zoe Miller and Savaya Brockington have been helping the team to its mark of 86 points per game.

Brockington coming off of the pine in her first season as an Eagle so far is averaging 8.3 points and has a team-high of 44 steals.

Going down the stretch of the season, day-to-day practices are going to be a key factor in the team’s ability to continue to win big.

“As we reach the back half of the season, it is imperative that we continue to lock in on each practice and game, and the cool thing about it is we get to compete against the best players in the country everyday sharpening our skills for whoever we face in the week,” said Brockington.

Coach Pickens shares the same thoughts as Brockington, knowing she has to challenge her girls with new strategies.

“As a coaching staff we took some time to evaluate, and I will give our team a ton of credit, every time we’ve challenged them with something, being a different part of our game, they have really responded,” said Pickens.

The common thought among staff and players is not to change many strategies for opponents, but to adjust in-house to refine team techniques. These techniques include playing man-to-man defense in the half-court set and more ball movement.

The next chance to use those refined techniques comes on Thursday, Feb. 2, against the Hillsdale Chargers. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. from Hillsdale, Michigan.