Mike Davies– Sports Editor
At the halfway point in the 2010-2011 season, the TRU WolfPack women’s basketball team already has more wins than in any other year in their Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history.
The team has never before seen the kind of success they are having this season. Their four wins in their inaugural Canada West (CW) season in 2005-2006 were the most games they’ve ever won since joining the CIS.
In fact, this year’s squad already has the same number of wins in the books as their two best previous seasons combined. With a 7-5 record going into the second half of their CW schedule, the team is riding high.
“We have made some big strides as a program in terms of being competitive in every game, getting some wins and playing better defense,” said head coach Scott Reeves.
“We were never out of a game the entire first half of the season and we have put ourselves into a position to make the playoffs, which would be a first for our program.”
That’s not to say the team is overconfident, as they know there are always areas in which to improve.
“We need to make better decisions on offense,” said Reevs.
“Sometimes we are still taking bad shots or throwing passes that shouldn’t be thrown. Our commitment to shooting outside of practice has to increase if we want to improve our shooting percentages.”
And they may have to do just that in the second half of the season if they are to contend for a playoff spot come the end of February.
They still have to play Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, who are currently ranked second and third in CW and national standings, both on the road.
“Not only do we have them,” Reevs said, “but we play three teams that I think we will be fighting for a playoff spot with. We will need to play exceedingly better than we did on the road in the first half of the year.”
One of the main reasons for the ‘Pack’s improvement this season is the production of third-year post Diane Schuetze. Schuetze is one of the CW leaders in five categories including first in defensive rebounds (averaging 5.8 per game), fourth in overall rebounds (8.4 per game) and fourth in blocked shots (averaging 1.1 per game).
“For me, there has always been pressure to work hard on rebounds,” said Schuetze.
“This year, Scott [Reeves] has really challenged me at it. I am also finding that I focus a lot more on rebounds than past years.”
Reeves praised Shuetze’s season thus far.
“Diane has really come into her own and is rebounding better than she ever has,” he said. “Her fitness has improved and that is enabling her to play longer minutes, which is a benefit to our team.”
Schuetze and the team look to end their two game-losing skid from before the break and continue their record-breaking season against the Winnipeg Wesmen at the Tournament Capital Center this weekend. Tip off is 6 pm on Friday Jan. 7 and 5 pm on Saturday Jan. 8.