The BYU women’s basketball team plays in Salt Lake City at the EnergySolutions Arena Wednesday against the Creighton Blue Jays.
Since the arena is neither in Provo nor Omaha, Neb., home of the Blue Jays, EnergySolutions has been dubbed a neutral zone, neither home nor away.
“I think we still have an advantage because we have more fans,” senior forward Keilani Unga said. “I know a lot more people will be coming out just because it’s at the EnergySolutions Arena, so hopefully it will get the place at least somewhat filled.”
Creighton comes into this game with a 2–2 record, while BYU stands at 3–3.
“(Creighton) is very similar to us,” BYU Head Coach Jeff Judkins said. “They play a motion offense, they move the ball, they have good shooters, they have post presence, and they don’t turn the ball over. They’re not as athletic as some teams we’ve played, but they execute very well.”
It seems the Cougars will be in for a decent match as they play a team with similar characteristics to their own.
“They’re a good team, they’re just like us,” Unga said. “They run a lot of motion, they run a lot of the same stuff as us. They have the same type of players also, so we’ll be getting a taste of our own medicine.”
The Cougars have played five games in a row away from home with disappointments along the way, losing to Boston College, Harvard and Washington State.
“Five games in a row on the road is hard,” sophomore guard Lexi Eaton said. “It’s hard to keep your energy up and the excitement going. But yesterday Coach Judkins talked with us and we’re going to focus more on the positive and just be positive with each other. That really helps the whole atmosphere. We tried it yesterday at practice, and it was just a night and day difference.”
In their last game the Cougars lost to Washington State 52–67e.
“I think what happens a lot is when you get discouraged, you don’t make baskets, you don’t do some things positively, then you seem to lose focus,” Judkins said. “I think that’s what happened to our team. We missed a lot of easy baskets, and then we came down the other end and didn’t do what we were supposed to do. … I think that’s why we play so many preseason games, is so that we can learn those things and do better in the conference. I also think that if we lose a game and we learn from it and don’t lose another game like that then it’s probably worth it, it’s worth that loss.”
The team is happy to be back in Utah after five straight away games and is in high spirits to go up against Creighton.
The Cougars and Blue Jays tipoff Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.