By JENNIFER GROSKREUTZ
The BYU women’s basketball team began preseason play Saturday night listening to the Slovakian national anthem.
And that was the only courtesy the Cougars provided Lokmotiv Bratislava, a team from Slovakia, winning easily, 63-46.
In front of a crowd of 417, BYU jumped into the first half of the game with sophomore Stacy Jensen scoring twice in the first two minutes. Bratislava struggled early on, with two Slovakian players arguing with each other on the court during the middle of the first half.
However, Bratislava was able to catch up before half time, narrowing the Cougars’ early lead to just three points with a score of 24-21.
Tom Gneiting, assistant coach, said it took BYU’s defense a little while to get moving.
“Our defense started out slow and got better as the game went on. That’s normal for a first game,” he said.
The second half opened with two quick baskets by senior guard Cady Williams, creating a deja vu experience. Junior center April Hayes also gave the Cougars some early points. She said scoring early in the half helped to calm herself down.
“We got the jitters out in the first half,” she said. “In the second half we were more settled down.”
After leaving those “jitters” behind in the first half, the Cougs held Bratislava to at least a 10-point lead throughout the later part of the second half.
Senior center Jill Adams said a key to more success in the second half was using more of through the back door.
Head coach Trent Shippen said the team still needs plenty of improvement, starting with the offense.
“We’ve got a long way to go as far as motion offense,” he said. “We did OK, but we need to work on patience.”
He also said it was great to get through the first game and have it under the team’s belt.
Adams agreed that the team has lots of work to do, but she was pleased with the end result of Saturday night’s game.
“We have lots to work on, but we won. That’s what counts,” she said.