Women’s basketball comes to a close, looks ahead to next season
The University of Indianapolis women’s basketball season came to an end after losing 69-63 in overtime to the No. 4 Lewis University Flyers. The Flyers were on a 22-game winning streak heading into the game against the Hounds.
Although the season ended sooner than was hoped, according to Head Women’s Basketball Coach Constantin Popa, he said he still has things to look back on and take away from this season.
“We definitely finished the second part of the season better than the first part, once everyone started getting healthy and our team chemistry started getting better,” Popa said.
The team fought injuries throughout the first part of the season, and getting the athletes healthy was a struggle, Popa said. Sophomore guard Devin Ferguson battled a knee injury toward the beginning of the season and experienced firsthand the struggle of returning to the court .
“I had to have a second surgery on my knee, putting me behind,” Ferguson said. “I had to adjust [to] not being able to compete in preseason, and [I had to] work on getting my confidence levels back up throughout the season and contribute as much as possible.”
Both Popa and Ferguson know there are things to work on in the offseason to prepare for next season. The players need to work hard over the summer and make sure they are practicing on their own to improve as individuals, Popa said. Ferguson acknowledged the things she needs to improve on for next season, as well as what the team needs to work on.
“I struggled shooting this season and playing with confidence. So that’s something I can work on for next year,” Ferguson said. “We’re going to have to get in better shape and work on shooting [for next season] because the team’s shooting numbers were low [this year], and that’s something we can work hard at during the offseason.”
The women’s team is bringing in approximately six freshmen for next season. Popa feels that the team could use more guards and experience to help improve the team’s play. The team likes to play with a fast-paced team, requiring about 10 players to be ready and healthy enough to come off the bench and create a lot of depth in the rotation throughout games, Popa said.
“We have to have a better rotation on our bench and in our substitutions to be able to sustain throughout the whole season. We had some people playing 40 minutes a game, and that’s difficult to do, especially in conference play,” he said.
The Hounds are losing senior guard Princess German. She was a leading scorer for UIndy this season and finished her final game as a Greyhound with a game-high 29 points.
“She was a big part of our program. And she’s definitely going to be missed, but that’s part of it. We have to keep on moving forward,” Popa said.
Ferguson recognized the impact of German’s role.
“We’re losing a huge leader on this team, and I think everyone looked up to her. So next year, we’re going to need people to step up and fill leadership roles.”
The Hounds’ season came to a close after their loss in overtime to the Flyers. The game was close, with four lead changes in the final five minutes.
UIndy will lose three additional seniors besides German, forward Darion Hutchinson, forward Mariah Weddle and center Marlena Muszak.