Robyn O'Rielly is making the most of her limited floor time these days and, if she continues to play well, she can expect more minutes, according to MUN coach Doug Partridge.
"She is starting to gain some confidence," said Partridge about the third-year wing from Witless Bay.
So why has she seen so little action this season?
"She's sat because there were issues with her ballhandling, defence and rebounding," Partridge said.
"She has chosen to address those issues. I give her full credit for having the work ethic and patience to sit and develop and now she is making a big contribution to the team.
"It couldn't happen to a better person."
O'Rielly is second on the team with eight three-pointers (Erin Mullaley leads with 15), despite the fact she's only played in half of her team's first 10 games.
O'Rielly, whose Sea-Hawk career looked a bit tenuous at the start of this season, contributed 38 points, including eight treys over the Lady Hawks' last four games, and although she has the ability to score from long distance, the reason her floor time has increased has little to do with her three-point shooting.
Partridge said it's O'Rielly's work on defence that's enabled him to use her more often and in certain situations.
"She is finally doing the right things defensively. As a result, she is getting floor time," Partridge noted. "She is gaining momentum to do the things she has to do and occupying a defender at the defensive end as well."
"I have been very happy for her. She has done a lot of work to get to this point."
"Her shooting spree," said Partridge, "combined with similar results for Kim Devison (17 points against UPEI last weekend) mean there is more room on the floor for Ally (Forsey) and our other posts to work with," explained Partridge.
"Remember that before Christmas we were asking Ally to be a scorer, with often four or five opposition players in the key when she caught the ball. But now that we are shooting 42 per cent as a team (in three of the four games after Christmas), it just means there is a lot more room in the key."
The 10th-ranked Lady Hawks take on Dalhousie Tigers 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at the Field House.
The teams split a pair of close games earlier this season in Halifax, with MUN taking a 68-63 decision and Dal responding with a 70-67 win in the rematch.
Partridge feels his team has been playing good ball lately and he anticipates the trend will continue this weekend.
"We've had an excellent effort in all but one of our games since Christmas and we want to keep that going against Dal and build some momentum going towards the playoffs," said the MUN mentor, who expects the Tigers to be tough.
"Dal is playing very well since Alex Legge came back," Partridge noted about Dalhousie's fourth-year small forward, who recently returned to action after knee surgery.
The Memorial men (1-9) will host the Tigers (5-5) at 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
(6) Vicki Thistle, 13.4 ppg.
(6) Ally Forsey, 6.8 rpg.
(7) Erin Mullaley, 3.5 apg.
(2) Grace Fishbein, 25-29, .862
(11) Jason Shepherd 14.6 ppg.
(10) Ante Samodol, 6.0 rpg.
(10) Jason Shepherd, 4.00 apg.
(5) Mike Helsby, 26-32, .813