After a disappointing loss to Duke University, the BYU’s women’s basketball team is hitting the road, traveling to Tulsa, Okla., to take on the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.
Falling to the Blue Devils 61-55 in the home opener, the Cougars aren’t the only ones who lost their first season game. The Golden Hurricane also just missed a win versus Arkansas Little Rock, losing 52-48. Because both teams recently experienced a close loss, both will be focused on grabbing their first win of the season.
So far, BYU’s season parallels last year: win two exhibition games, then play and lose to Duke. But coach Jeff Judkins said that’s where he wants the similarities to end. After playing Duke last year, the Cougars fell again to University of Chicago, Illinois, by three points.
Discussing the upcoming Tulsa game with the team after the Duke game, Judkins clarified they must not overlook anyone.
“I [told the team after Friday’s game], ‘Last year, you played Duke — great first game. And then you played Chicago, Illinois, and you stunk it up,” the coach said. “I don’t want to see that against Tulsa. You come out with intensity, and the confidence that you came out with tonight, and you’re not going to have any problem against Tulsa.'”
Judkins said last year’s game against Chicago was what cost the Cougars their bid to the NCAA Tournament, and that’s something he’ll emphasize in practice.
Starting sophomore Kim Parker echoed Judkins thoughts about equal intensity for all games and restated they wouldn’t overlook any team.
Senior Haley Steed, who started last year and experienced firsthand the loss against Chicago, said that game was a huge letdown.
“We … had kind of a high at Duke, and then we … just overlooked our next opponent,” Steed said. “We are really, really focused on the next game, and we can’t let that drop.”
Even with the recent loss on the players’ minds, their outlook is positive. Certain skills were portrayed against the Blue Devils that will enable the team as they move further into the season.
“We have high expectations,” Steed said. “And we don’t expect to lose very many games this year.”