Bronchos Can’t Bear the Storm

Bronchos Can’t Bear the Storm

Senior Melinda Murillo, No. 22, takes a free-thow shot after being fowled by a player of the opposing team at Hamilton Field House on Thursday, Jan. 25 (Regan Rosson/The Vista)

The University of Central Oklahoma women’s basketball team lost their second straight game on Saturday, losing to Southwest Baptist University 71-59.

“We just were a little out of sync,” head coach Guy Hardaker said.

Offense has been a struggle for the Bronchos this year—they shoot 38 percent from the field, 12th in their conference—and Saturday was no different. UCO shot 34 percent from the field and just 13 percent from 3-point territory, making just two the whole game.

“They had a really good game plan defensively,” Hardaker said. “We’re kind of struggling. We’re not a great shooting basketball team and when we’re not shooting it well, [we’ve] got to get to the foul line and we’ve got to score off our defense.”

Hardaker said he felt the Bronchos took too many jump shots instead of driving the lane and trying to get fouled.

Melinda Murillo and Blake Blessington both scored 16 points and Jo’Nah Johnson scored 13. Those three combined to shoot 18 of 38 from the field, but the rest of the team together shot 5 of 28.

On the other side of the court, the Bronchos had trouble defending without fouling. Southwest Baptist shot 30 free throws in the game, knocking down 25, while the Bronchos only got to the line 14 times.

“We didn’t do ourselves any favors defensively,” Hardaker said.

The Bronchos are now 17-5 on the season and 8-5 in conference play. With only six games left in the regular season, Hardaker said he hopes UCO’s home-heavy schedule will help the Bronchos get back on track.

“If we want to make a run at this thing, and give ourselves a position of getting a bye in the conference tournament, then we need to kinda close out these six games,” Hardaker said.

Hardaker said the Bronchos’ destiny lies in their hands and they need to play like their backs are against the wall.

The Bronchos play Nebraska-Kearney at the Hamilton Field House on Thursday as they look to end their two game skid.

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