On Friday Nov. 4, the Women’s Basketball team took to the court for the first time this season in an exhibition contest against the Toros of Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Coming off a disappointing season last year where the Poets finished 4-12, the team is looking to bounce back this season, and Friday’s game provided a glimpse at this year’s team.
In addition to offering a preview of the 2016-2017 season, this game was also the debut of newly hired head coach Roy Dow.
Dow is no stranger to SCIAC, having coached at Cal Lutheran from 2008-2013 and finishing with an overall coaching record of 81-51.
“I would like to thank the Whittier College community members that I met on campus during the interview process” said Dow to wcpoets.com in a statement.
“That day confirmed to me the special spirit that exists here at WhittierI am inspired and excited to join such an outstanding coaching staff. The Whittier College support to athletics is equal to anybody else in the country; and we truly have an opportunity to achieve championship-caliber performances. I look forward to channeling that spirit into our women’s basketball program, changing our culture to a work and accountability culture that embraces the incredible academic opportunities here.”
Dow’s coaching debut tipped off at 4:30 p.m. at Graham Athletic Center’s Dave Jacobs Court.
In addition to taking on a Division II opponent, the Poets faced a size disadvantage, which played a factor from the opening tip off.
The first half of the game for the Poets told a story of missed opportunities on offense.
The Purple and Gold went into the locker room at the half trailing by a score of 46-20 with a shooting stat line of 8-34, while the Toros finished 18-39.
The Poets were able to generate scoring chances on offense, moving the ball around the court with high efficiency, but were unable to capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Senior guard Ana Youngblood was the most productive player after one half, finishing with eight points and eight total rebounds, four offensive and four defensive.
The second half of play was more of the same, with the Poets struggling to keep up the scoring pace put on by the Toros who finished 10-37 in the shooting category.
Despite being outworked both offensively and defensively in the second half, the third quarter was one of the brighter aspects of the game in the eyes of Coach Dow.
“It was an area of the game that was extremely heartening. I thought we outscored them 17-14,” said Dow. “But it wasn’t so much as outscoring them; it was more of the fact that the energy was up and there was a little more resilience and commitment to each other. It’s a complete work in progress at this point.”
Dow also says that this game provided an ideal opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season. “I thought it could’ve been better; could’ve been worse” said Dow. “It was an exhibition game, and I think that we’ve have one scrimmage that gave us one taste, but we’ve had 16 practices together. As a whole, it’s about us still learning how to play together and embrace what we’re trying to do. The great thing about Dominguez being Division II is they forced us to play a team with a length advantage, which is something that we need to prepare for as the season rolls on. We’re still building that culture.”
The Poets will continue to play on the road for three more games, including a matchup against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 28th.
The team will return home for their regular season home opener on Dec. 3rd, when they host the CalTech Beavers.