Lady Raiders prepare to face Rice

The Lady Raiders will face the Rice Owls Monday night at the United Spirit Arena. Junior Erin Grant is looking forward to Monday night and getting the regular season underway.

"This past Monday we got a chance to play and work together a lot more, and I think we had a chance to work our jitters out," Grant said.

Monday night the Lady Raiders defeated Everyone's Internet in exhibition play 68-47, but at times the Lady Raiders lost confidence particularly on offense.

Freshman Darrice Griffin and Judith Smith combined to play 41 minutes in Monday's game. Both contributed on both sides of the ball and are expected to contribute throughout the season.

"I think the freshman have come a long way," says Grant. "They are learning and understanding the system, and have worked hard."

This week's practices have been dedicated to working on mistakes from the last exhibition game, and preparing for Rice who are 1-1 with a win against McNeese State and a loss to Arizona.

"One of the things we found we could work on from the 2nd exhibition game was on defense. I feel they broke us down dribbling the basketball from the perimeter," explained Sharp.

"It's a 5 on 5 defense, not 1 on 1 five times," is the message Coach Sharp has been telling her team for the past week. Coach Sharp feels that they have made improvements on defense, with the blocked shots, and defending closer to the rim.

On offense Coach Sharp feels that a few opportunities were missed.

"We missed throwing the ball inside a few times, and we want to go inside first to see how the defense reacts."

The Lady Raiders lost confidence in their shooting at the start of the 2nd half against EVI last week. At times the team looked as though they were concerned about getting passes stolen. This week the team concentrated on making good clean entry passes to post players, which is where the Lady Raiders will look at going Monday night.

"This year's Rice team is more athletic than past years, at times this year they have been in full court defense, so we will have to make good passes," Sharp said

The Lady Raiders will have to continue to play good defense against a Rice team that makes good shots, and is well coached.

Tickets are still available for Monday's game against Rice at the United Spirit Arena, tip-off is at 7pm.

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