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Miners prepare for Old Dominion

photo by Charles Desouza

After a two day rest period, the women’s basketball team kicked it into high gear during their last practice before they take on Old Dominion on Thursday, Feb. 25 in the Don Haskins Center. Starting time for the game is slated at 7:05 p.m.

Old Dominion will be the first of their last two home games. The Miners (23-2, 14-1 Conference USA) take on Old Dominion (12-14, 8-6 C-USA) in efforts to break the longest home winning streak in school history. The Miners know how important this game is because Old Dominion leads the series 2-1. In their last meeting Old Dominion handed UTEP a 79-50 defeat (Feb. 15, 2015).

“We are playing a good team in Old Dominion,” head coach Keitha Adams said. “Last year we played them in their place, they dominated us.”

The Miners are the only team in C-USA to be undefeated at home, which gives the Miners confidence in preparing and developing a game plan.

“We have been sticking to everything we have been doing all year,” Adams said. “We just have to play some really good basketball and everything else will take care of itself.”

Despite the confidence, Adams and the Miners cannot over look the fact that Old Dominion’s Jennie Simms is a force to be reckoned with. Named 2015 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and First-Team All C-USA honoree, Simms is ranked 33rd nationally for both points per game game (19.8) and free throw attempts (156). Not only will the Miner’s have to worry about Simms and her ability to get to the basket, but also they will have to deal with Old Dominion’s aggressive post players. Old Dominion’s Ije Ajemba rank 5th in C-USA rebounds per game and Destinee Young ranks 7th in the same category, giving the Lady Monarchs the ability to be a well-rounded threat.

“Jenny Simms can score in multiple ways, she’s a difference maker” Coach Adams said. “We just have to make her work really hard for what she gets”

Old Dominion’s high-powered offensive attack will meet their match when they take on UTEP and their unforgiving defense. In the Miner’s past 3 games they only gave up an average of 54.5 points. They lead C-USA with 300 steals as a team. Point guard Starr Breedlove leads the C-USA with 83 total steals and 3.3 steals per game, followed by Jenzel Nash, who is 2nd in C-USA with 66 total steals and 2.6 steals per game.

“They (Old Dominion) are really physical, they have good hands and they crash the boards,” Adams said. “We know they rebound well and have a very good team so we have to execute.”

With two home games left in the season there are a lot of mixed feelings for some of the Miners. Some of the seniors, like Breedlove, these few remaining games will be the last of their college career. There is a lot of excitement built up in the Miner locker room, and Breedlove claims these last two games at the Don Haskins Center will be played with a lot of emotion.

“This last two games are going to be very exciting,” Breedlove said. “I look at it like it’s the last two games of my college career.”

While the Miners get closer to the end of regular season play there eyes are getting set on the C-USA Championships. Bringing home the C-USA trophy would mean the world to the players and coaches. The locker room energy is at its all time high with anticipation of being able to raise another C-USA Championship banner.

“Raising another banner would mean everything to me” Tamara Seda said. “I mean who wouldn’t want to?”

Charles Desouza may be reached at [email protected]




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Miners prepare for Old Dominion