This looks like it will be a very tough matchup for us. Monroe has had many years of being bad and fired their coach last year and hired a woman who had been a huge success in Jr College basketball. She has a great name for taking over a bad program…Missy Bilderback.
And she has. She brought in 8 transfer students, all of whom were regulars at their previous school and most of whom are Grad students ( so only one year of eligibility left). Several came from power conference schools. They are 0-1, having lost a close game 81-76 at Arkansas, who is often an NCAA team. Jaykayla Johnson, a transfer from Auburn, had 34 points and 7 rebounds. Daisha Bradford, who started 53 games at Clemson, had 14 point, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.
ULM had 7 girls who played between 34 and 20 minutes, indeed all but 4 possible minutes. This would indicate that their rotation is already set, which puts them ahead of where we are.
These Sun Belt Challenge games are supposed to match teams of fairly equal talent, but in this case I think that they finished way down in the conference last year and have changed their roster and staff and should really have been matched against one of the top MAC teams like Ball Sate or Toledo.
18-11 ULM with 3:42 to go in the first quarter. Monroe has hurried the ball up court and launched quick early threes as we are just not ready. They are hitting them. I think Luu- Brown and Jaden Scott have all our points. We have to sprint back and find our girl quickly and make them actually run a half court offense.
25-17 ULM at the end of the first quarter. We are doing OK on the boards and are scoring better than vs Vermont, but they are bombing and hitting 3’s. Richason got 2 quick fouls.
ULM is 6 for 11 on threes. for us Luu- Brown has 7.
29-19 Monroe at the 5 and under TO. We have actually played better in Quarter 2, but have missed some easy shots. Richason has 3 fouls in about 6 minutes of play. Jaden Scott has 8, Brown 7.
36-30 at the half. We got down 12, then cut it to 3, they got a quick 5, and Brown got a couple of free throws at the end of the half. We have settled in and are holding our own now, ULM is now 8 for 20 on threes, so they are still bombing but missed some.
Holding our own on the boards, 21 for ULM; 20 for us. The difference is them shooting 42% on threes while we’re 22%.
We are shooting 40%, they are worse. Rebounds are 20-21 Monroe and we have 9 TO’s and they have 6. We are in the game now, we just cannot let them have open 3’s. Former Clemson guard Bradford has 13 points and has been the best player on the court, although Jaden Scott has been the best inside player in the game.
Lead is up to 15 now at 51-36. ULM has picked up their defensive pressure and execution and we have not been able to get it inside. They are now 10 for 23 on threes with still almost 15 minutes to go. No points for Jaden Scott and Katey Richason.
56-36 and Coach Box calls a TO. We are trying to play with 3 guards and they are not getting the job done. This run has been the worst we have looked in the first 2 games.
58-39 LM at the end of 3. That was a bad quarter for us as they picked up the pressure on our ball handlers and we did not handle that well.
TO Miami with over 6 minutes to go, 65-58 ULM. We are back to playing competitively again after a bad 3rd quarter.
78-62 ULM is the Final.Bradford, who started 53 games for Clemson in the last two year, had 30, going 6 for 11 on threes and 12 out of 19 overall. Monroe was 15 for 34 on threes, 43%. Johnson, the Auburn transfer who had 34 vs Arkansas only had 15 tonight.
Jaden Scott had a career high ( has to be) 23 points. Luu -Brown had 12 and Jada Scott has 9. We got outrebounded in the second half and it ended up 40-31 Monroe. We ended up with 12 turnovers, they had 13. Freshman Maddie Huhn, who has started the first two games at the shooting guard spot, played a lot better tonight and had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Freshman Amber Tretter, who has been the first girl off the bench both games, had 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Next game will be the home opener against always strong Western Kentucky Saturday at 1. An inexperienced team like ours should play better at home.