Newcomers Sammie Jensen and Kim Bell shine in preseason.
The lady Wolverines opened their season exhibition play on Oct. 30 when they took on Dixie State, followed by a game on Nov. 3 against Fort Lewis, both games ending in a loss (75-72, 82-71).
“Exhibition games are meant to expose weaknesses and I think we did that on Saturday night and we did a little bit tonight,” Coach Cathy Nixon said.
Despite the losses, Wolverine newcomers boasted high numbers in both games. In the contest with Dixie State, sophomore transfer Sammie Jensen put up 18 points and brought down 21 rebounds. True freshman Kim Bell followed Jensen by putting up 17 points while junior Jenna Johnson put up 11 and sophomore Kaycee Mansfield put up 10.
Against Fort Lewis, Jensen again led the Wolverines offensively by boasting a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Bell again followed Jensen, also finishing with a double-double 17 points and 14 rebounds. Johnson and sophomore transfer Abbie Beutler each put up seven apiece, while Mansfield finished with six.
At the half, the lady Wolverines had a seven-point lead on the Fort Lewis Skyhawks. When they returned to the court, Fort Lewis knew what they were after.
“We’re a team right now that just has got to be a lot better,” Nixon said. “With 27 turnovers, we’re going to have a hard time being successful.”
With a roster of three true freshmen, two junior college transfers and eight young returners, for the lady Wolverines these exhibition and upcoming preseason games will define the team.
“I think you’re seeing a team that’s in the maturing process and in the developing process and I have a lot of confidence in our kids and their work ethic. In the long run that we’re going to be a very good basketball team,” Nixon said.
The lady Wolverines will head to Brookings, S.D., on Friday to begin competition in the preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Wolverines will be guaranteed at least three games.
“It’s a preseason game and really the preseason, like exhibitions, is meant for learning opportunities to develop our team for the conference season and that’s how we’re looking at it,” Nixon said. “We obviously want to go and put a good performance on the floor. We’re playing in some very good arenas against some good teams and I feel like it will be a good experience for our kids.”
Regular season play will begin at home as they host in-state opponent Weber State, Nov. 23, in the UCCU Center.