Women’s basketball team loses to Portland Universi

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    By HEATHER REEVES

    The women’s basketball team started their season with a disappointing 87-63 loss at Portland University Saturday.

    The game started out in Cougar favor as the Cougars jumped ahead with an early lead of 12-4, seven of those points coming from senior Barbi Carmichael.

    Carmichael was the leading scorer for the Cougars with 34 points, shooting four for five from the three point line and two for two in free throws.

    “We got ahead in the first half,” said head coach Trent Shippen, “But it was like they were surprised to be ahead. I felt we played a little scared. Our confidence wasn’t there.”

    This lead was soon taken over by the Pilots as the Cougars turned the ball over five times allowing the Pilots to get a 17-0 run on the Cougars. The first half ended with the Cougars down by 11.

    Trying to catch up didn’t go well for the Cougars. Everything came unraveled after Jill Adams’ layup with 4:48 to go in the game.

    “We played them pretty well,” Shippen said. “We were pretty close, within ten points the whole game, until about the last four minutes. Our shots weren’t going in and theirs were. We had to foul them and they made their free throws.”

    Portland outscored the Cougars 17-3 in the final four minutes of the game.

    “They (Portland) executed really well down the stretch to win the game,” Shippen said.

    Shooting for the Cougar offense did not go well. Kari Gallup, leading scorer from last year’s team, was held to only nine points, making only three of 15 field goals. The Cougars had a 37 shooting percentage compared to the Pilots 54 percent.

    “It’s hard to beat a team who is shooting like that,” Shippen said. “We had a lot of easy shots that didn’t go in, even close ones.”

    The Pilots’ advantage was at the free-throw line. The Cougars had ten shots at the line and came away with only 50 percent accuracy. The Pilots took 33 shots from the line, capitalizing on those shots 72 percent of the time.

    “It will be interesting to see how the players respond,” Shippen said. “They have a tough game coming up this weekend against Colorado. Colorado will probably be one of their toughest games all year.”

    “We have to make some adjustments and stay together,” Shippen said. “When you lose, negative things start stepping in. So we have to play together and we have to stay positive and something good will happen.”

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