In college basketball, it is common that young, inexperienced teams initially have problems playing on the road. So far this season, that is true for the VSU Lady Blazers.
The Lady Blazers started the season with an 0-2 record on the road, averaging just 43 points per game.
And on Wednesday night, the Lady Blazers early season road woes continued as they fell to the Lady Spartans of the University of Tampa, 67-63.
Fortunately for VSU, they head home this weekend as they are set to host the Days INNvitational at the P.E. Complex. They open the tournament on Saturday against Georgia Southwestern and on Sunday against Talladega College.
So far this season, the Lady Blazers are 2-0 at home.
“Right now, for us, we have to be able to find some ways to score. We’ve gone on two serious droughts on the road and we’ve done it here at home, where we just can’t put the ball in the hole,” Head Coach Kiley Hill said earlier this week. “A lot of it has to do with personnel right now, trying to figure out certain spots. We’ve made some adjustments with some injuries and other things that have evolved. We’re now figuring some things out; how to score and who needs to be touching the basketball, which I think will help in the long run.”
Along with the road struggles early this season, Hill has been forced to run without his desired lineup, due to the loss of Brittany Daniels. Hill said he “most definitely” expects Daniels back after Christmas break.
With the loss of Daniels, several Lady Blazers have been forced to play different positions, including Western Carolina transfer Brittany Ferguson. Ferguson, who is a natural perimeter player, is being forced to play inside to fill the void of Daniels. Despite the change of position, Ferguson is averaging a team high 13 points and 9 rebounds a game.
“Brit is more of a three having to play the four for us right now,” Hill said. “I think coping is a good way to put it, but I think if we can get BrittanyDaniels back then it makes (Ferguson) even more effective for us.”
Sczenzy Hartry has also been a focal point for the offense thus far due to the absence of Daniels. She is second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game, despite shooting just 31 percent from the field so far this season.
“It’s me feeling like I have to score for us to be able to get into what we’re supposed to do and knowing that if we don’t score,” Hartry said. “Who else is going to pick up the slack when we’re not scoring, because Daniels isn’t here.”
Hartry sees room for improvement, though. She has faith that if the team simply plays better defense, the offense will follow.
“We just have to remember that we have to do what we practice and make sure we play good
defense. Because of course, when you’re playing at somebody else’s home it’s kinda like you’re starting off down ten, feeding into the crowd and stuff,” Hatry said. “So we just have to make sure we stay together and do what we practiced.”