Start solid, stay solid

Almost every post-game interview I have done with the women’s basketball team lately has included the phrase: “We have to play for 40 minutes.”

What this boils down to is the team, coaches and players alike believe the current losing streak stems from an inability to finish and/or start strong.

In games like the 64-67 loss to Saint Joseph’s University, the team struggled in the final minutes to handle the ball and score. The game went into overtime and while USI scored the first points, the team failed to close out again in the final minute of overtime.

In that game, the team started strong. There was energy in its play and a control of the game that hasn’t been present for awhile.

The 64-73 loss to the University of Indianapolis was different. Like previous games, the team found energy during  the last five minutes of play.

“Too little too late” is also common to hear now during post-game interviews. The group seems to either start strong with an inability to close out or star slow and only find its energy when it realizes the game is slipping away.

This isn’t a hard concept for fans to relate to. It sounds like an average college student’s semester.

The beginning starts with a thoughtful planner, highlighted syllabi and the book for every class.

About midway through, the books are still around, but the syllabi are buried at the bottom of a backpack and the planner with Starbucks spilled on it was never  replaced. By the end of the semester, students are burnt out and barely slide into finals week.

Or the semester starts with nothing but optimism and naivety. Students think classes don’t actually need books and the only planner needed is a brain. They’ll keep it all straight.

A little way into the semester, the books have been bought, but there still isn’t a plan.

Finals week hits and studnets scramble to pull together a cohesive schedule and figure out what everyone else was highlighting during syllabus week.

If one game for the women’s basketball team is compatible to one semester for a college student, neither of those examples will lead to a win.

Books have to be bought. Plays have to be run.

Despite an eight-game losing streak, the women’s team can regain traction. This might take a little more scrambling and definitely a lot more focus, but it isn’t impossible. There are still eight games left in the season.

If the women’s team can start the rest of the games on its schedule like it started agaisnt Saint Joseph, it will be fine.

If the team plays the rest of its final moments like it did in  the game against UIndy, it will be fine.

If it can put both a start and finish together, it will win.