It’s not often Memorial Sea-Hawks women’s basketball team gets swept at home, but Lady Hawks’ coach Doug Partridge isn’t about to panic at this point in the season.
Instead, Partridge gives full credit to the University New Brunswick Varsity Reds.
While Partridge admitted his team didn’t practise very well leading up to the past two weekend games against UNB “and therefore did not execute or play well,” he pointed out, “the main factor is probably that they are really good (7-1 in AUS, 14-2 overall in CIS) and ranked in the top five in the country.
“What we need to do is re-establish our practice habits and, from there, recover our defensive focus and play better,” said Partridge. “The outcomes are less important then re-establishing successful habits.”
That doesn’t mean Partridge planned tougher practices this week as the Sea-Hawks (4-4) prepared for games in Antigonish, N.S., where they play the St. Francis Xavier X-Women (5-2) Saturday and Sunday.
“Most of my players would probably vote that practices are tough enough usually,” said Partridge. “If we tried to go any harder it would probably be abuse. We just need people to be focused.
“Sport isn't punishment,” noted Partridge, “but the hardest working team usually wins.”
UNB crushed MUN 94-65 last Saturday and followed that up with a 94-78 win the following day at the Field House.
Still, Partridge saw some positive signs in the lost weekend.
“We played a very solid game against them (UNB) Sunday and showed signs in that game of how we can compete with them,” he said, “but our defence needs to be on their toes the whole game and we let up in the fourth quarter.”
The MUN mentor said every AUS team is “legit and you have to play well every weekend to be successful.”
As an example of the league’s competitiveness this season, Partridge pointed out was seventh-place Dalhousie defeating second-place Cape Breton recently, “so this is a very tough, competitive league.
“We knew coming in that we had a brutal first 10 games in our schedule and needed to be as good as possible in that stretch.”
“We have accomplished a lot so far and playing at .500 is not bad given who we have played. We'll just have to see what the week brings.”
As far as this week’s competition is concerned, Partridge said St. FX has a good press-and-run team and “they will be tough in their own gym.”
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
Team GP W L Pts
UNB 8 7 1 18
Cape Breton 9 6 3 16
Memorial 8 4 4 14
St. Francis Xavier 7 5 2 14
Acadia 8 4 4 12
Saint Mary’s 9 4 5 10
Dalhousie 7 2 5 4
UPEI 8 0 8 0
Note: Some games are worth four points.
MUN’s next games
Saturday and Sunday at St. Francis Xavier