February 7, 2017
By Christopher Sich
The Dominican University women’s basketball team has won six of their last games, at one point winning four straight, and are playing their best basketball of the season.
The Stars got their second win of the season on January 11 as they beat conference rival Aurora University in a nail-bitter 53-49, and haven’t looked back since beating the likes of Alverno, Rockford and Marian University, all teams they lost too earlier in the season.
“The four game winning streak boosted our team’s confidence, it was an eye opener to the entire team,” freshman guard Lexi Hoskins said. “We realized that we are a lot better than what we have been playing like. To the veterans of the team they saw that we are not the team that they were in the past, and the rookies realized how important we are to the team and how much of an impact we have to the team.”
The Stars have been playing great team basketball and are proud of their improvement.
Hoskins continued, “Personally, it feels amazing to see how much the team has improved this year and how much better we will be for the next couple of years.”
The team’s recent success is a direct result of team cohesiveness and their improved play as a team.
“The team has really come together as a unit as of late; we have made defense a priority, and that has been our biggest strength,” Head Coach Gaby Johnson said. “We have had several different leading scorers in our games. I’ve been impressed by our ability to do what is asked on each particular day whether that means scoring or finding other scorers.”
Even though the Stars have been playing well, they cannot let up and will look to continue to improve.
“I think we will benefit greatly from not taking plays off,” Johnson said. “When we get up against some teams we sometimes relax, and it’s important to keep our foot on the pedal.”
Mistakes have come to back to haunt the Stars in the past, so they know it is important to stay focused every practice, and every game.
“We need to minimize our mistakes,” Hoskins said. “We need to work together as a team and be mentally tough, and we need to work on executing on offense consistently.”
The Stars finish the season with five conference games, three of which that home at the Igini Sports Forum, and will look to continue playing good team defense, and rising up the ranks in conference.
“Our team defense has improved every game, we have been holding teams below their scoring average,” Hoskins added. “Communication is important and that is another thing that our team does very well.”
The last several games will not be easy, but the Stars up to the task. According to Johnson, the team is focusing on climbing the conference ranks day by day, and that means going after each opponent as if they have something the Stars want.
The Stars have their sights set on making the conference tournament, which they believe they can achieve.
“Our goal is to steal some wins throughout the final stretch of our season to place sixth and make it into the conference tournament,” Hoskins said.
The Stars next game will be on Tuesday, February 7, as they travel to Aurora to take on the Aurora University Spartans.