During the course of a season, it is expected that every team will see their fair share of highs and lows. What separates the good teams from the great ones, though, is the ability of the unit to stick together through thick and thin. Just as head coach Dawn Henderson didn’t want her team focusing on or thinking about their nine-game winning steak over the winter break, she also doesn’t want them to harp on their recent three-game skid this past week, which started with a 74-50 loss to William Paterson University.
Instead of dwelling too much on the negatives, including a dramatic, demoralizing come-from-behind 76-65 OT loss against Kean on Saturday, Henderson wants the Lions to be encouraged by the plethora of positives that she did see from her squad.
“At least we got see some of ourselves,” Henderson said. “We came out like our old selves in the first half and played really well on defense. We were moving and sharing the ball, hitting our shots, and we even got off to a good start in the second half with a couple backdoor cuts that resulted in easy layups.”
However, second half foul trouble (which led to Kean entering the bonus early and shooting a lot of free throws) and a season-high 25 turnovers ultimately helped spell doom for the Lions, who forced Kean to commit 25 turnovers in their first meeting this season, a 95-83 overtime home victory.
After holding a 41-22 lead at halftime, the Lions scored the first two buckets of the second half to push their lead to 23 points before Kean went on a quick 15-0 run that turned what was at the time a blowout into a 45-37 barnburner in a matter of minutes.
“I think in the second half when things weren’t going well for us the doubts started to creep in,” Henderson said. “We’re just trying to scratch, claw and work to get better every day.”
Despite their recent slide, the Lions remain in second place in the NJAC, and given that the team only recently has gotten back to being fully healthy, it’d be wise to expect them to rebound in a big way this coming week.
“I’m just telling them to be confident in themselves and each other,” Henderson said. “We’re having a great season, and in order for us to continue to get better and be successful, the most important thing is we have to have confidence.”
The Lions are back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 29, as they take on Richard Stockton College.