Davis hopes to end season on strong note

Photo by John Nakano

This season has been especially busy for women’s basketball at Tech as over half the team’s games are away. So much travel can be especially hard on team performance. The Jackets have powered through jet lag and the stress of travel, with many players having their strongest career performances away from home.

Sophomore, Kaela Davis has excelled on the road this season. Just before Valentine’s Day, Davis made the Naismith Trophy women’s midseason “Top 30” list. She has broken another of Tech’s athletic records; becoming the fastest women’s basketball player at Tech to score 1000 career points.

Davis also managed to break Kisha Ford’s record for the most points scored in a single season. During Sunday’s game in Miami, Davis brought her tally up to 524 points this season, three points more than Ford’s record during the 1994-95 season.

Averaging about 21 points per game, Davis is having a fantastic season so far.

However, the season so far has not added up to the long list of wins the team was hoping for.

Last week the Jackets played North Carolina State  and freshman, Zaire O’Neil tied the game at 60 with a three point play. A victory was just in reach, but NC State pulled away and gained a double digit lead in the last three minutes of the game.  Coach MaChelle Joseph expressed her disappointment in the team’s performance against NC State.

The team responded with a well-played game against Miami. Davis and O’Neil each scored 13 points, and freshman, Imani Tilford tallied eight rebounds and two steals. Junior Roddreka Rodgers scored ten points.

Things seemed to be looking up for the Jackets during the first half of the Miami game. Late in the second half, however, the Hurricanes managed a comeback, and through some crucial plays, Miami gained a lead.

The Jackets fought back for a leg up and the second half battle for victory ensued. In the final minutes of the game the Hurricanes came out on the court with a drive that would gain them a five point victory.

The two losses against NC State and Miami brought the Jackets conference record to a total of six wins and eight losses. Such a close loss to Miami was especially difficult.

“I’d always say I would rather lose by thirty than lose by two.” Davis explained how close losses are sometimes the hardest.

The five point loss to Miami may have been a blow to the team, but the Jackets are using their losses as a learning experience and a basis for improvement in future games this season.

As a powerful competitor, Tech is still a force to be reckoned with. The team has had many learning experiences this season and has returned from each one ready to fight for a win.

“We’re still just kind of figuring things out I guess.” Davis said, “Each and every game we want to improve and work on our weaknesses and figure out the best way to help everybody else out and get everybody else better. Obviously there is always a bigger picture. Just getting everybody focused and on the same page and continuing to improve.”

The season has not been completely dismal. For Davis this season has been marked by career high scoring. It has also been a very successful season for O’Neil, whose debut on the court was filled with well-timed and well executed plays.

As a whole, the team has grown throughout this season. But Davis believes there is still room for improvement.

“You know, there’s been adversity and there’s been a lot that we’ve had to deal with. But I think that we are doing a great job of adjusting and figuring out our way.” Davis commented, “Our goals are just to continue to improve no matter who we are on the floor with or who we are up against. Every game is an opportunity to get better. So we just take every opportunity for what it is and, you know, make it beneficial for us. That’s kind of been our big thing since the start of the season.”

Women’s basketball team has made it clear that there is still a lot to play for this season. With their goals in mind and a lineup packed tight with dynamic scorers and powerful players, the Jackets intend on finishing out the season with a fight.