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Lions do away with rust

BASKETBALL: Vanguard women's team is shaky on offense, defense but still finishes with familiar result, a 96-64 victory.

December 31, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

COSTA MESA — A 24-day break between games created a little rust for the Vanguard University women's basketball team.

But after a dose of half-court trapping defense and a little halftime evaluation, the Lions' offensive machine was rolling again.

There was still much to improve on, Lions Coach Russ Davis said and a 96-64 victory Saturday over Randolph-Macon of Virginia in the Surf City Classic at Vanguard made scouring for what needs to be fixed easier.

Vanguard improved to 8-0 with 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting and nine rebounds from Rachel Besse. Melissa Cook and Kelly Schmidt scored 14 and 13 points respectively in the second half as the Lions exploded for 55 points in the final 20 minutes.

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"But we gave up 40 points in the second half," Davis said. "We were out of basketball shape. We usually do a good job on the little things. It could have been worse. We could have done a better job communicating, with our transition defense and defensive rebounding. We need to be more consistent with our effort. When the other team scores a few points we lose our aggressiveness."

There were also positives, Davis said. The defense was stout in the first half, holding Randolph-Macon to 22 points on 38.5 % shooting, while forcing 18 turnovers and snatching 10 steals. And the Yellow Jackets provided the ideal opponent for the Lions to work themselves back into shape against.

"This team didn't fold," Davis said. "They weren't intimidated. They didn't care who we were. They kept fighting until the end. That's what you're supposed to do. A lot of teams we've faced this year folded when we began to overwhelm them. We'll learn a lot from today's game. We need to play a full 40 minutes. Today we played about 10 to 15 minutes of our kind of basketball."

Saturday was the fourth time this season the Lions had won by a margin of 25 points or more. The defense was the catalyst as Vanguard finished with 17 steals, forcing Randolph-Macon into 29 turnovers.

"We weren't on top of our game today," said Schmidt, the defending NAIA Player of the Year, who finished with 17 points. "It was our first game back. The second half was a lot better. We need to crash the offensive boards and make sure everybody is giving it there all out there."

The Lions, who returned to practice from winter break Tuesday, feature players from five different states, so the team splinters apart during the holidays making staying in game shape more difficult. Senior Tiari Goold and junior Jessica Richter both attended Oregon City High and returned to their alma mater to maintain their conditioning.

"We played some pick up games and went to the gym," said Goold, who won three state championships in high school.

Surf City Classic

Vanguard 94,

Randolph-Macon 62

RM -- Riesbeck 16, Morgan 10, Hiltunen 8, Ariail 8, Dalla Valle 6, Shifflett 6, Shaffer 5, Stein 3.

3-pt. goals -- Morgan 3, Dalla Valle 2.

Fouled out -- Ariail.

Technicals -- Team.

VU -- Besse 21, Schmidt 17, Cook 16, Burns 13, Richter 9, Jacobson 8, Rinke 6, Goold 4.

3-pt. goals -- Burns 3, Cook 2.

Fouled out -- None.

Technicals -- None.

Halftime -- 39-22, VU.

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