Coming off a crushing defeat Wednesday night, the women's basketball team came back with strong defensive play and destroyed Rhode Island Saturday afternoon, 82-38.
The now 6-3 Spartans shot an impressive 49 percent from the floor, however it was their strong defensive efforts that led them to this win. The Rams shot 24 percent and had 30 turnovers, along no Rhode Island player finishing in double digits.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on the defensive end at certain times by only allowing six in the second and three in the fourth," head coach Suzy Merchant said. "We have just been trying to get better on the defensive end so that we can ignite our offense end.”
The Spartans started off hot by outscoring their opponent 22-12 on 60 percent shooting, while holding the Rams to only three field goals in the first quarter. Their strong defensive efforts continued to the second quarter by only allowing six points on two made field goals.
The second half was just a matter of running the clock, as the Spartans locked Rhode Island down by only allowing three points in the fourth quarter.
With eight seconds left in the first half, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon buried a three in the corner to put an exclamation point for the Spartans. After a disappointing 0-for-11 shooting performance Wednesday night, McCutcheon comes back strong and ties her career high of four three pointers made in a game.
“She took charges, took good shots, did a good job of getting the ball inside, and pushed the ball in transition,” Merchant said. “The kid is really athletic, plays downhill, and is really starting to turn the corner for us and we are down people in the depth chart. So we really need her and Shay to start playing well for us.”
Freshman forward Sidney Cooks led the team with 17 points on 60 percent shooting, along with six rebounds and three assists in only 22 minutes of play.
“My shots against Notre Dame were absolutely rushed and everyone knows I can shoot now, so I had to think this game to put the ball on the ground more to get me into a better position,” Cooks said.
The Spartans next game will be next Saturday at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m.