Women’s basketball continues exhibition games

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By Alex Hoeft

With one exhibition game under its belt, and as the new players and new coaches get an idea of the quick pace of the game, the BYU women’s basketball team is slowly molding into what it will be this season.

Fresh off a game against Western Oregon University, the team now faces Dixie State tonight in the Marriott Center, which will be followed immediately by a men’s basketball game, also against Dixie State.

Though Dixie State is a Division II school, it is not to be overlooked. The Red Storm finished last season with a 24-4 record and a No. 17 ranking in ESPN’s Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

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Newcomer Xojian Harry takes control of the court at the women's basketball Blue and White scrimmage in October.

The 2011-2012 Dixie State team, led by Angela Kristensen, consists of seven returning players and nine newcomers. The team already played one exhibition game, against Southern Utah University on Oct. 31, losing 76-66.

As for BYU’s women’s basketball team, the focus isn’t necessarily winning — it’s more trying to figure out where they are as a team.

“We’re still trying to figure out our team — what works best,” said Dani Peterson, a senior from Salt Lake City. “[Coach Judkins] has got us in the best positions for any team, regardless of who we’re playing.”

Peterson also said Judkins will give everyone more equal playing time in the exhibition game.

“The exhibition games are also a way for coach Judkins to tell who is performing the best right now,” Peterson said. “In practice, you can kind of get a gauge whether some people are game-time players, and I think he has a pretty good idea, but I don’t think anything is ever set in stone because everything can change.”

The official season begins next Friday against Duke University at the Marriott Center. Duke, ranked No. 8 in the AP Preseason Poll, will test the Cougars’ skill level. Next week, the team’s focus will be on what it takes to beat the Blue Devils.

“Next week we’ll really start focusing. We’ll start watching film on Duke and doing game prep for them,” Peterson said. “Right now it’s still important, still early in the season as well. We have a lot of young girls, and a lot of teaching has been put in place — just to learn coach Judkins’ system, and how our team is run.”

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